On the May 24 weekend I planted my patio garden. It has great light there and for the past few years I have had success with tomatoes, peppers and herbs. In fact there is nothing better than a tomato ripened on the vine (attached to the plant), or some fresh parsley, cilantro, thyme, or basil just steps outside my door. This year I picked up some great seedlings from Tiny Veggies along with some new soil that gave my patio garden a great head start. I now have Japanese Black Trifele, Golden Nugget Cherry and Black Cherry Tomatoes starting, as well as Ace Bell Peppers blooming and, I have already started using my herb garden – my parsley, basil, dill, thyme and cilantro are amazing!
This brings me to my next series of articles – quick and easy Summer Salads. I can eat salad all summer long, that crunch and the varieties of taste and texture, I just can’t get enough. These three salads can be used in many ways, as a side or a topping, even as a dip, using fresh ingredients that will leave you wanting more.
The first of which is Hummus. Yes, I know you can easily buy it at the grocery store. It’s readily available with many toppings including roasted red pepper, or roasted pine nuts or even pesto. However what you may not know is that it’s tremendously easy to make, costs a fraction of what you normally pay and actually tastes way better than store-bought.
If you have never had hummus it is a traditional Middle Eastern dip made from chickpeas, normally topped with olive oil and paprika and most commonly used as a dip for warm pita bread. Today hummus is having a bit of a hay day as it is a great way to get more legumes into your life and like avocado toast, hummus toast is almost just as popular.
Most plant-based people simply can’t live without hummus as it is not only delicious but, is a very handy item to have around. I use it as a dip for carrots and pita. I use it as a spread on a sandwich, as a topping for some of my epic bowls and I add it to tomato sauce to make it creamy and delicious. I guarantee that once you start making your own you will not go back to store-bought.
There is one ingredient that you need for this recipe that may be a little harder to find – Tahini.
Tahini is simply sesame seed paste, you can generally find it in the health section of the grocery store generally with all the other glass jarred nut butters. However, I do find that these are often really expensive, and if you look in the international section of your grocery store you should be able to find a much larger container of Tahini generally in plastic giving you 3-4 times the amount more for the same price.
This hummus is just so tasty that I had to dive into it immediately! I made a toasted tomato sandwich on sour dough bread with spinach and ground pepper and instead of using plant- based mayo I substituted it for my hummus and it was absolutely amazing. Give it a try!
Recipe: Can’t Live Without Hummus
19 oz can organic chickpeas
1 lemon, juiced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup tahini
½ tsp ground cumin
¾ tsp Himalayan pink salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp cold water
Open, drain and rinse chickpeas
Put chickpeas in a saucepan and cover with water, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes (this will make your hummus really creamy!)
Add lemon juice and garlic to the bowl of a food processor and set aside
Drain chickpeas in a colander and rinse with cold water
Add chickpeas, tahini, cumin, salt and olive oil to food processor, process until smooth, wiping down sides of processor as necessary
Once well mixed, add cold water until you get your desired consistency
Serve immediately topped with roasted red pepper, olive oil, roasted pine nuts or pesto, or store in an air-tight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
Read Part Two: Guacamole
Read Part Three: Tabouli