Salad-Topped Hummus Platter

The culmination of my daughter’s summer theatre camp involves days of dress rehearsals followed by matinée and evening performances. She absolutely loves it all and it is worth every second, but it was also difficult to prepare and eat dinner during this time. That’s show business, right? 😉

This genius quick, healthy, and filling appetizer turned dinner saved the day the evening of her final performance. The recipe was adapted from Ina Garten via Smitten Kitchen.com. I made my favorite hummus, added arugula, used a peeled CSA cucumber, and substituted red wine vinegar for lemon juice in the dressing. I could eat it all summer long!

  • 2 cups prepared hummus
  • 2 T olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 cups (8 ounces or 225 grams) grape tomatoes, quartered, plus more to taste
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, or multiple small cucumbers, unpeeled, chopped
  • 1/4 medium red onion, chopped small, optional
  • 1 T red wine vinegar or juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 tsp sumac
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, or a mix of parsley, mint, and chives, plus more for garnish
  • 2 large handfuls baby arugula, to taste
  • warm naan or pita, for serving
  1. Prepare hummus in a food processor.
  2. Spread hummus on a large plate with the back of a spoon, creating swirls and cavities. Drizzle it lightly with olive oil, just to freshen it up.
  3. Mix tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, red wine vinegar/lemon juice, about 2 tablespoons olive oil, sumac, plus salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.
  4. Stir in herbs.
  5. Top hummus with arugula. Heap salad on top of the arugula. Finish with additional sumac and/or fresh herbs.
  6. Serve with warm naan or pita wedges.

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Roasted Cauliflower & White Bean Dip

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I made this dip as a hummus alternative. It was tasty– but we all prefer hummus! 🙂 This recipe was adapted from Everyday Food. I added hot chicken stock to the cauliflower and bean puree to make the consistency more creamy. I also added parsley, spices, and additional lemon juice to give the dip more zesty flavor. We ate it with veggies and pita chips but it would be good as a sandwich spread as well.

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, plus 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup hot chicken stock
  • large handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • paprika, cumin, & cayenne pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss cauliflower and garlic with 2 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast until cauliflower is tender and browned, 25 to 30 minutes. When garlic is cool enough to handle, remove peel.
  2. In a food processor, combine cauliflower, garlic, beans, 1 tablespoon oil, lemon zest and juice, and 1/2 to 3/4 cups hot stock, until desired consistency is achieved. Process until smooth. Add parsley and spices; season to taste with salt and pepper. (To store, refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 3 days.) Serve drizzled with oil.

Hummus

Hummus

We usually have hummus around as a dinner alternative for my daughter.  When she objects to what is being served, she is always agreeable to have hummus with vegetables and flatbread.  We also serve it as an appetizer, and eat it on sandwiches with lettuce and shredded carrots. I always use the recipe from The Moosewood Cookbook – a gold standard. I make 2 modifications to this recipe- I add some of the bean liquid to make the hummus more creamy, and I warm the beans in their liquid in the microwave for 2 minutes before pureeing.  Melissa Clark, a New York Times food writer, suggested warming the beans to make the hummus more creamy- it really works.

  • 2 medium cloves of garlic
  • a handful of parsley or basil
  • 1 scallion, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 15 oz can of chickpeas (warmed)
  • 3 T tahini
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • cayenne, cumin, paprika, to taste
  1. Place garlic, parsley/basil, and scallion in a food processor or blender, and mince.
  2. Add chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, some of the bean liquid, and salt, and puree to a thick paste.
  3. Season to taste, if desired, with cayenne, paprika, and cumin (and correct the salt if necessary).  Transfer to a tightly lidded container and chill.

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