Talk to people from the Middle East about hummus, and the first thing you hear is that this dip in the U.S. is nothing like the one they enjoy at home. According to my Israeli friend, the right variety of chickpeas play the leading role. Latin American chickpeas are better for soups and salads because they are larger, firmer, and stay whole when cooked. The best for hummus are pea-size chickpeas known as Baladi in Israel. They become soft and easily smashed between fingers when cooked. Unfortunately, in the United States, all chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) are labeled the same, unless you shop for them at ethnic stores. And even if you make a trip to an ethnic grocery store, Indian for example, the chickpea names will be specific to Indian cuisine — larger Kabuli and smaller Desi aka chana dhal. Choosing the right chickpeas variety is not really an option for an average grocery shopper who craves for amazing hummus. What is the option then?
I saw this video on Facebook about 4 months ago. It shows this kind of pizza is made at Trattoria Pizzeria La Bufala: it is cross cut at the center, filled with some buffalo ricotta and black truffles, garnished with arugula, cherry tomatoes, and fresh buffalo mozzarella. I liked the idea so much, it had to be recreated in my kitchen! Obviously, in my home kitchen and with the ingredients available in Central Texas, I could only utilize the presentation idea. I refer to this idea as 4-pies pizza, thus the name.