I had always thought of hummus as a healthful but simple dip, eaten as an appetizer or snack or in a pita sandwich — until my Israeli friends turned me on to the glories of the hummus plate.
They spread a generous amount of the creamy puree on a dish, then top it with any number of satisfying things: sliced hard-cooked egg, chickpeas or fava beans, chopped herbs, pine nuts, seasoned ground beef or sauteed mushrooms and onions, plus a finishing drizzle of good olive oil.
Served as a main course with warm pita alongside, hummus becomes the base for a variety of inspiring and easy meals. The accompanying recipe is a nod to the ever-so-common hummus and baby-cut carrots, prepared and plated so it makes for an extraordinary lunch or dinner. The carrots are roasted whole, with a hint of cumin, salt and pepper, until they are firm-tender and browned. That simple step concentrates their flavor and makes them meaty.
Then they are placed, either hot or at room temperature (so you can make them ahead if you’d like), atop a landscape of homemade hummus. You can use store-bought if you prefer, but it is astoundingly easy to make your own, and it is well worth the small effort for the fresh, ultra-creamy flavor and texture of it.
A finishing garnish with some of the carrot greens adds an intense carrot flavor and welcoming color to the dish. A sprinkle of toasted sunflower seeds provides crunchy contrast. The result is a hummus-carrot combo that is more luxurious and fulfilling than you ever imagined the duo could be.
For the carrots:
Two 1-pound bunches of small carrots, greens attached
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
For the hummus:
1 small clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
One 15-ounce cans low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
4 teaspoons toasted sunflower seeds
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Cut the tops off the carrots, leaving about 1-inch of stem attached. Reserve about ¼ cup of the greens; wash and coarsely chop them to use as a garnish. Peel the carrots and if there are any larger ones in the bunch cut them in half lengthwise. Place the carrots on a baking tray; drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with cumin, salt and pepper then toss to coat evenly. Place in the oven and roast until tender-firm and browned, 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly then drizzle with the lemon juice.
Meanwhile make the hummus: using the broadside of a knife blade, mash together the garlic and salt to form a paste. Place the garlic paste in a food processor. Add the chickpeas to the food processor along with the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin and 3 tablespoons water and process until smooth.
To serve, smear each of 4 serving plates with hummus (a heaping 1/3 cup on each). Arrange the roasted carrots on top. (Carrots may be served warm or at room temperature.) Sprinkle with sunflower seeds, and drizzle each with ½ teaspoon of the oil then garnish with greens.
Makes 4 servings
Serving size: a heaping 1/3 cup hummus, about 4 carrots
Per serving: Calories 310; Total Fat 15g (Sat Fat 2g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 590mg; Total Carbohydrates 37g; Dietary Fiber 10g; Protein 9g
Copyright 2017 Ellie Krieger. All rights reserved.