May 13, International Hummus Day

Flashback to the Fall of 2012. I had just moved to the United States from Chile and would very soon get to experience one of the most delicious things I had ever tasted: hummus. If hummus was a thing back home, I was obviously not aware of it. I can still remember going down on some pita chips and hummus and just chillin’ on the couch while watching my favorite TV shows.

Flash forward to the Winter of 2016. After a few months transitioning to a vegan diet I was finally ready to go all the way. After getting my first food processor (I have two) hummus would be the first recipe I would attempt to make. Who would’ve thought that (although a bit time consuming, because I don’t use canned chickpeas) it was so easy to make?!

Now. As I’m going to bed on Saturday night I realize that May 13, that same day, was International Hummus Day. What a lousy vegan! I had no clue! I mean, it makes sense that Hummus would have its own celebratory day… it’s just an amazing food. That only made me get out of bed to wash and leave some chickpeas soaking overnight. Here are 5 variations that I came up with.

Ingredients (for small samplers of each type)

  • 1 large cup (mug) of dried chickpeas.
  • 2 tablespoons of tahini.
  • 1 lemon, just the juice.
  • ½ beetroot, roasted.
  • 1 red pepper, roasted.
  • ½ garlic bulb, roasted.
  • ½ cup Thai chilies, roasted.
  • 1 large carrot, roasted.
  • 1 cup of baby spinach
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped.
  • ½ brown onion, fine julienne cut.
  • 1 purple/red onion, fine julienne cut.
  • Water.
  • Olive oil.
  • Spices: sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Materials: parchment paper, aluminum foil, a baking tray.

Procedure

  1. Hummus (base): wash, rinse and leave the chickpeas soaking in water overnight. The next day drain, rinse and cover with abundant water. Bring to a boil at high heat and then let simmering at medium-low heat for about 25-35 minutes (time will vary depending on your stove and your pot; the important thing is to remove from the stove once they are soft and the skin is peeled off easily). Remove the chickpeas skin (some people use them with the skin, but I believe it tastes better – creamier and softer – without it). In a high speed blender or food processor, process the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Gradually (slowly! And in small quantities) add some water to the mix until achieving your desired consistency. (Tip: be advised that some of the variations, because of their ingredients and higher water content might result in a more liquid hummus, so it’s always safer to have a ticker hummus base). Divide the hummus into 5 different bowls to be used for each variation.
  2. Getting all Veggies Ready: some veggies will be used raw, some sautéed (i.e., caramelized onions) and some roasted in the oven. My advice is that all roasted veggies can be roasted at the same time as long as they are separated from each other to avoid juices from leaking, and removing them at the right cooking times (the general temperature is 200 degrees Celsius).
  • Baby Spinach & Walnut Hummus: Process 1/5 of the hummus with the baby spinach (you can cook it, but I like it raw). Once the hummus is evenly tinted green add the walnuts and mix with a spoon or spatula. Done!

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  • Roasted Red Pepper Hummus: Roast the pepper by placing it, uncovered, on some foil (pinch and lift corners to prevent from leaking). Pepper usually takes between 15-20 minutes; the skin starts turning black (i.e., burnt pepper skin). This means that the skin will peel off easily leaving you with just red pepper flesh which is incredibly juicy and intense in flavor. Once the pepper has cooled down, peel using your fingers. Cut open and remove seeds. Process 1/5 of the hummus with the roasted red pepper flesh until everything is evenly tinted light red. Done!

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  • Caramelized Onion Hummus: Heat some oil in a frying pan. Once warm add the brown and purple onions and sprinkle some salt. Stir fry at medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring ever so often to make sure that the onions are “sweating” and being cooked evenly, while also preventing them from burning. After this, sprinkle some sugar and let the onions caramelize for 1-2 minutes (make sure they don’t burn; they should turn a light brown / golden color). Remove from the stove and set aside to cool down. Process 1/5 of the hummus with the caramelized onions. Done!

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  • Beetroot Hummus: Wrap the beet in aluminum foil. Roast the beat for about 40 minutes. The beet is cooked when you can easily stab it with a knife without having to place too much pressure on it. Be careful when doing this because beets tend to splash some scalding beet juice. Once cooked, let cool down. Peel the skin off with your finger and/or under running water. Process 1/5 of the hummus with the roasted beet. Done!

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  • Thai Hummus: Cut the top of the garlic bulb. Put over some foil. Add a splash of olive oil, and sprinkle with some salt. Wrap it in foil and roast for about 20 minutes. Once done, remove wrap and scrape the garlic paste out of the cloves’ skin. Roast the carrot the same way as the garlic (for about 15 minutes), but in this case also add some pepper. Once done, chop. Roast the Thai chilies the same way as the roasted red pepper (i.e., over foil, preventing from leaking and unwrapped). Once done cut the edges of each chili and squeeze the seeds out with the back of a spoon. Process the remaining 1/5 of hummus with the carrot, garlic and chilies. Done!

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  • Store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5-7 days. Enjoy with carrots, celery sticks, vegan crackers, by putting it on some salads, bread or whichever way you like.

Enjoy!

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