Part of my February 2022 Times Union story. Read the whole thing here.
If you’re going to laze around for a day or so, you need decent snack foods. You’re going to want sustenance, something to get you from the Netflix binge through the afternoon nap. In our house, we eat a lot of hummus, and I could go on about all the ways we love it so. Since we don’t have all day here, I’ll keep it short. Hummus wears many hats. Going to a party? Bring hummus. Weeknight dinner? Hummus. And noshing food, to keep around the house on a lazy Saturday? You get the point. There’s a few things to know about making really great hummus. First, homemade hummus isn’t anything like what you’ll buy in the grocery store. The homemade variety, it’s warm and soft and super creamy, gentle with garlic and the tang of tahini, and finally, just a whisper of cumin. It’s easy enough to make: Just gather the ingredients, toss it in the food processor, and let it go for a good five minutes. The topping of choice for me is roasted vegetables. I’ll use whatever is on hand, but always in the mix is a sweet onion, a whole head of garlic (roasted it becomes mellow and sweet) and carrots. The rotating choices include Brussels sprouts, broccoli, radishes and cauliflower. Roast the evenly-cut veggies until they’re deeply golden brown, let them tumble onto the hummus, and then top with a healthy sprinkle of za’atar. That’s a Middle Eastern spice mix, made of a few usual things (fresh or dried thyme and toasted sesame seeds) and something you might have to look around for: Ground sumac. Sumac is a dried and ground berry that has a lemony bite—not the same as what’s growing wild in your backyard—and if you can’t find it, just top the dish with the seeds and herbs. It’ll still be good. I like to serve up a bowl of warm hummus, roasted vegetables and something to scoop it up with, be it a cracker, a chip or even just a spoon.
Hummus with Roasted Vegetables
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 28-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I like Goya brand)
1 tablespoon tahini paste
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Roasted vegetables (recipe follows)
Za’atar, for serving (see note)
- Combine the garlic, chickpeas, tahini, lemon, water, olive oil, sea salt and cumin in the bowl of a food processor and puree for 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides and puree for another minute or so.
- Spread the hummus on a large platter, leaving a well in the center. Pile the roasted vegetables in the center, sprinkle za’atar and a drizzle of olive oil over all, and serve.
- For the Roasted Vegetables:
- 1/2 onion, sliced from top to bottom, into thin strips
- large carrots, peeled and sliced on the bias into ½-inch thick pieces
- cups trimmed vegetables, cut into similar-sized pieces (radishes, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts)
- Olive oil
- head garlic, top ½-inch sliced off
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Add the vegetables to a large bowl and pour in enough olive oil to coat well. Toss and season with salt and pepper. Spread out onto the prepared baking sheet, being sure to not crowd the vegetables, or they won’t brown. Nestle the garlic head in, pour a little oil over the top, and roast for about 35 minutes, rotating the pans halfway, until crispy-brown on the bottom and soft throughout.
- Note: Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice mixture made up of equal parts thyme leaves, toasted sesame seeds and ground sumac. Sumac can be found in specialty grocery stores and online. If you cannot find it, top the hummus and vegetables with thyme and toasted sesame seeds.