Hummus Lab

Lately I have been experimenting with hummus quite a bit. Ever since I learned how to make it at home last year, store bought hummus just isn’t enough for me. Granted, when I want the type of super smooth an creamy hummus that can only come from individually peeling every chickpea, I go to the store. Similarly, if I’m in a hurry to get somewhere, I pick up my hummus on the run. But I have found that since I learned how to mix up my own fresh flavors, the variety of hummus sold at the store is downright boring. Garlic? Been there. Roasted red pepper? Done that.

During this long experimentation phase, I have dubbed my chickpea processing time “Hummus Lab,” which delights me and confuses my friends. Did you ever watch that cartoon Sealab 2020? It’s kind of like that, except more delicious. I have successfully created several tasty flavors of hummus to dip my pita triangles, carrot sticks, cucumber slices and naked fingers into. Kyle is in hummus heaven. Isabelle wants to know when I’ll quit dropping chickpeas on the floor and start dropping kale again (girl loves her greens). I won’t have another boring BYOBB lunch for weeks.

Against my better judgment, I am sharing four of my favorite hummus recipes with you. I say this because I think I could probably make some money off these concoctions, but because my business plan writing days are over (for now at least), I’m just giving them away for free! Our favorites so far are the cilantro jalapeno and the dill pickle hummus, but all four are extremely tasty and far more interesting than what is on the grocery store shelves. All of them use chickpeas, although experimentation with other beans is already underway. Hummus Lab sequel? Maybe!

Enjoy!

The directions for all hummus recipes are as follows: add all ingredients to food processor and blend until incorporated and hummus is smooth.

Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus

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Ingredients:

  • 1-15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Sun-dried Tomato Basil Hummus

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Ingredients:

  • 1-15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Indian Curry Hummus

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Ingredients:

  • 1-15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • dash of ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Dill Pickle Hummus

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Ingredients:

  • 1-15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill
  • 3 dill pickle slices (round chips)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Side note on the dill pickle hummus: I could totally see this in a wrap as a vegan tuna salad substitute, or as a fun alternative filling for deviled eggs.

Fancy Tomato Sandwiches with Hummus and Goats R Us Greek Chevre Dip

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When tomatoes are good, they are so very good. And when they are out of season, they are so very bad.

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While we have the pleasure of seasonal tomatoes’ company, we should enjoy them every chance we get. However, some people get a little tired of tomatoes this time of year and need to change up their usual tomato sandwich. I suggest they trade up to this “fancy” tomato sandwich instead.

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It’s easy enough to pack for lunch and sophisticated enough to make for dinner. Recently I made these on a Friday night when Kyle and I were headed out to Crossroads in Forest Hill to watch some live music. This sandwich was quick, easy, and very satisfying. It helped to lay a good carb and protein foundation for the libations we were about to consume, without filling us up so much that we couldn’t enjoy a beer (or three).

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This sandwich is a tale of two spreads. In one corner, Greek Chevre Dip from Goats R Us (found at Ellwood Thompson’s Natural Market and the South of the James farmers’ market). In the other corner, homemade black bean hummus.

To make the black bean hummus, simply puree in a food processor: 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained), 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 clove garlic, 1 tablespoon fresh dill, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread the hummus on one slice of bread, and the Greek chevre dip on the other. If you don’t have the Greek chevre dip, substitute any fresh chevre or tzatziki.

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You may see the rest of the ingredients in this sandwich and ask, “Black beans? Really? Why not white beans?” Sure, the flavors might make more sense with Cannelinis or Great Northerns, but the color of this hummus is the reason for black beans. It looks great opposite the white chevre dip, with bright red tomato and dark green spinach sandwiched in between. But really you could use whatever beans you want.

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Stuff the sandwich with fresh sliced tomato and spinach. Add whatever other vegetables you have on hand. Cook each sandwich on a panini press or grill until dark brown grill marks appear and the sandwich is warmed throughout. Serve with a side of fresh veggies.

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