Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus

March 16 2014 071 Edited Sun Dried Tomato Hummus

This one I was not sure I was going to share. See that chunky texture? That’s not hummus. Or at least hummus the way I like it, all smooth and creamy and beautiful.

My homemade hummus took on a consistency similar to natural peanut butter. Creamy, but not creamy like Jif. And even though Jif peanut butter is filled with ingredients that are not peanuts, that smooth dollop of delicious looks as good as it tastes.

So after this, my second hummus attempt, (my first was of the zucchini Parmesan variety), I planted myself firmly in the buy camp of the DIY or buy hummus debate. (There is no real debate. Thriving on controversy is simply one of my character flaws.)

Then I sat down to catch up on my blog-reading and came across seemingly all the hummus resources one could ever need.

March 16 2014 081 Edited Sun Dried Tomato Hummus

It started with a post on In Jennie’s Kitchen which led me to a chickpea cooking technique for smooth hummus. Somewhere along the line I ran into a Smitten Kitchen post about peeling the chickpeas, which I actually thought about when making my hummus but then promptly abandoned. I barely take the time to frost a cake, much less peel chickpeas.

So what did I learn? The consensus seems to be to boil your own chickpeas instead of using the canned variety like written in the recipe below. You can adapt what I wrote by using 1 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas in lieu of 1, 15 ounce can. Here are your resources:

Or, you can just chuck the whole idea all together and make sun-dried tomato dip. Do what makes you happy. Enjoy!

March 16 2014 070 Edited Sun Dried Tomato Hummus

Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus
  • 1, 15-oz can chickpeas
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • ½ teaspoon red cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup water (and more as needed)
  1. Puree the chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor until it starts to get smooth, about four minutes.
  2. Add the quinoa, olive oil, tahini, cayenne pepper to the food processor and continue to process until the mixture starts to smooth out. The mixture may start to clump at this point, so add water as needed to achieve the desired consistency.
I typically find I can get 2 tablespoons of lemon juice from one medium lemon. You do not have to use olive oil in the recipe. I added it to help smooth out the hummus, but using just water would be fine too.


Butternut Squash Dip

Jan 19 2014 053 Edited Butternut Squash Dip

Week 12 of 12 has arrived. I chose a butternut squash dip for my 12 Weeks of Winter Squash finale, picking the recipe with a thought along the lines of “this will be quaint.”

I did not expect to love it, but I do. My love for it runs so deep that saying it took me by surprise is an understatement. I was actually shocked by love for it.

I maintained a semblance of control and served it with roasted carrots and parsnips (I also forgot how much I love roasted parsnips) and a few pita chips. But really, I wanted to dip potato chips in it or slather it on a sandwich like pimento cheese.

Jan 19 2014 037 Edited Butternut Squash Dip

I have never been a fan saying that something is so good I want to stick my face in it. I simply can not get over the image of that mess and the idea of food stuck in my eyelashes or stuffed up my nose. However, this dip comes close to making me use that phrase.

I do not wish to stick my face in it, but I would be willing to figure out a way to turn it into a facial mask.

Although I jumped in at week 4, I appreciated having this project to hold me accountable to this space at least once a week. I enjoyed getting to know some other bloggers and seeing their creative recipes. I hope you will check out their creations and find some that make the rest of winter a little tastier. Enjoy!

Jan 19 2014 056 Edited Butternut Squash Dip

Butternut Squash Dip
Serves: 2½ cups
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling if desired
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup tahini paste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. Toss the butternut squash with the olive oil and garlic and season with salt and black pepper.
  2. Distribute evenly across a baking sheet and roast at 425 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes, turning occasionally, until tender.
  3. When roasted and cool enough to handle, transfer the butternut squash into a food processor.
  4. Add the yogurt, tahini, lemon juice and cayenne pepper.
  5. Puree until smooth, adding a bit of water if the dip is too thick for your liking. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil if desired.
  6. Serve at room temperature with roasted root vegetables, pita chips or any food of your choice.
I used minced garlic from the jar, but the original recipe called for roasting one head of garlic. Here’s how: Cut 1 inch off the top of the garlic head and place it on a piece of foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and wrap it tightly. Roast the garlic along with squash, but allow it to sit in the oven for about 1 hour instead of 35 to 40 minutes. The garlic should be soft when done. Allow it to cool, then squeeze the cloves from their skins into the food processor along with the other ingredients.

Not sure where to find tahini paste? At my store, it is located next to the peanut butter.


Zucchini Parmesan Hummus

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What food reminds you of growing up? That was the first question posed to the audience at a public conversation, The Gathering Power of Food, yesterday. On the off chance someone from out of town was in attendance, the first responses - sweet potato pie and chicken and dumplings – should have left no doubt we were firmly planted in the south.

When I thought about the question, I was a bit distressed that nothing came to mind. All I could think of was what I did not enjoy, like baked orange roughy and taco night. Then someone mentioned pancakes. The response made me think of my dad cooking pancakes – or “golden brown fluffies” as he liked to call them – on Sunday mornings before church.

I would not say zucchini is the food that reminds me of growing up, but it is definitely my quintessential summer food. I liked it the first five times we had it for dinner in July. My feelings were not so warm during the approximately 50 remaining meals where it made an appearance. In my teens I finally wised up and baked as much of it as I could into bread. I never thought of zucchini pancakes.

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I did not have any expectations going in to the food event; I was simply curious about the different ways people thought about food and why they felt strongly enough to sit in a room with strangers and talk about it. A number of people spoke to the theme of how the rush-rush-rush of American society has likely diminished our appreciation of good food, or at least a good dining experience where we take the time to eat with others.

Though I had trouble thinking of a family food from my childhood, I had no problem remembering my family always sat down for meals. One of the top three things on the list of hundreds, probably thousands, that I need to give my parents credit for is they made eating dinner together a priority. Up until the day I left for college, we always sat down for at least one meal together. This included at least two years when I was playing high school sports and my sister was playing middle school sports, i.e.) schedules were packed.

There were some nights when we would not sit down to eat until 9 p.m., but more often than not we sat down to eat what Mom prepared (or on the occasional night she was away, what Dad “assembled”). It’s just me now, but I still try to take time to sit and eat dinner without the television on or the computer up in my face. I used to feel like I had to do something during meal times, like check email or read a magazine, but now I just eat. I figure if I can not give myself 15 minutes to do something I need to do to sustain my life – eat! – then my life is in a pretty sorry state.

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My favorite idea to come out of the discussion was the idea of common tables at restaurants. I had never before heard of such a thing, but apparently restaurants of the past would keep a common table where anyone who wanted to could sit and have a meal with other patrons. I loved this idea. I would do it all the time. I would make friends with bribes in the form of a hummus appetizer.

Zucchini Parmesan hummus is one of the more unique ways I have found to use up the inordinate amount of summer squash available this time of year. It took me a little longer than perhaps intended to make since I started with zucchini from scratch. I think the idea behind this recipe is to give leftover roasted or grilled zucchini new life in the form of hummus. Either way, it works. Enjoy!


Zucchini Parmesan Hummus
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for roasting and garnishing
  • salt and pepper
  1. Cube the zucchini and toss with a slight amount of olive oil, salt and pepper.
  2. Place the zucchini on a baking sheet and roast in an oven heated to 350 degrees F. There is no hard and fast time frame for roasting the zucchini, but I left mine in for about 20 minutes.
  3. Allow the zucchini to cool to room temperature, then place it along with the
  4. chickpeas, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and a dash of salt and pepper in a bowl of a food processor.
  5. Process until the mixture forms a chunky paste, about 45 seconds.
  6. Slowly pour in the olive oil and continue to process until the hummus becomes smooth and creamy, about one minute. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
  7. Place in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil before serving.
The hummus should keep for at least two days but should be stored in the refrigerator if made in advance. A grilled zucchini can be used in place of the roasting called for here.