I regard hummus as a uniquely delicious food, one that is rarely matched in its texture and flavor profile. It’s pretty much its own food group. To wit, if you took a peek in my refrigerator on any given day, you’ll likely find two or three (or four!) hummus containers, all open and half-eaten. Granted, they mostly belong to my boyfriend, who has a habit of unintentionally stocking up on the creamy chickpea dip–but I’m not complaining.
My favorite ways to enjoy hummus are mostly traditional: on top of pita, as a dip for crudités. But when I’m feeling adventurous (or when my fridge is empty), I like to be a little unconventional with this beloved food. If I’m being honest, this is really the best way to keep any food in regular rotation; consuming the same food prepared the same way each week can get old really, really fast. If you want to jazz up your meals while still paying homage to your favorite bean blend, here are some ideas to get started.
This is a great option if you only have a few spoonfuls of hummus remaining. Simply add water, vinegar or lemon juice, a dash of salt and pepper, and lemon juice, and mix! I like pouring hummus dressing on romaine or spinach with some Kalamata olives, tomato, onion, and a sprinkling of vegan feta cheese. If you’re on a low-fat diet, this is a great dressing option to use in place of an oil-based dressing, since the tahini and olive oil, which are typically in hummus, will be diluted with the addition of water.
Thickener for soups and stews
Instead of whisking milk or cream into your corn chowder, why not throw in some hummus to thicken it up? It might sound odd or even off-putting to consider throwing a chickpea-based condiment into your soup, but you’ll be surprised at the level of creaminess it lends to just about any stew. As long as you’re using a hummus that doesn’t contain any obscure flavorings (like red pepper or pesto), you likely won’t even notice it’s there since hummus is pretty mild on its own. Like salad dressing, using hummus as a thickener is a low-fat alternative to cream.
When I used to bake veggies, I almost always tossed them in a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper. But as soon as I learned that you could bake vegetables with hummus, I never looked back. I like to chop my vegetables into small pieces and toss them with 3-4 tablespoons hummus, until generously coated, then sprinkle with whatever spices I have on hand. My favorite vegetables to roast with hummus are cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. When baked, hummus browns on the top but retains its creamy texture, similar to cheese.
You can either make your own spaghetti sauce from hummus or just mix it in with your favorite store-bought sauce. Either way, it’s a way to achieve maximum creaminess and add a little protein without much work. Perfect for us lazy folk!
This idea was inspired by PD’s own Christina Ramirez, who brought a six-layer dip with hummus to our Peaceful Dumpling x Athleta SoHo event last year (yes, I’m still thinking about it). Such a simple but brilliant idea! Whether you’re looking to swap out dairy on your grilled cheese, quesadilla, or nachos, try hummus instead. Tip: for a cheesy flavor, mix a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast into the hummus 🙂
What do you think about these ways to jazz up your hummus? 🙂
Also by Molly: Mediterranean Za’atar Hummus
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Photo: Molly Lansdowne; Mary Hood Luttrell