Thursday, March 18, 2010

In a hummus state of mind

Saturday, our relatives were talking about Greek food. Sunday we had some yummy hummus at our niece's birthday party. Monday, I noticed some spinach artichoke hummus at Sam's that sounded good, too, but had some other "splurge" items on my list for the month, and the price of it put it into that category as well. So Tuesday, I made some! And Wednesday I made some more. I'm an "if-some-is-good-more-is-better" kind of gal.

Tuesday's version was a spinach and artichoke flavored combo due to the Sam's experience, and Wednesday's was pesto flavored, due to having some spare basil from a stop at Trader Joe's when we were near one on Sunday. (There are a few things we get every time we have a chance to visit a Trader Joe's - peanut butter is the main thing, but basil is a frequent purchase as well.)
After skimming through several recipes on the net, I decided that none of them were quite what I was looking for, so the following is my own combination.
Most hummus recipes are some variation on chickpeas (i.e. garbanzo beans), lemon juice, salt, tahini, garlic, and olive oil. There are no pictures of the spinach and artichoke version, but since spinach and basil are both bright green, you can imagine that they looked very similar!

Spinach and Artichoke Hummus

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 Tbs lemon juice

1-2 Tbs olive oil

1/2-1 tsp salt

2 big handfuls of fresh spinach

5-6 artichoke quarters in oil

Throw it all in the food processor and let it go for a while, stopping to push the sides down every so often. The more olive oil you add, the creamier it will be. Water can also be added to thin it down some. Many recipes state that you can make this in the blender, but after multiple attempts at doing so, wouldn't recommend it. If a blender is all you have, you will need to make it very thin to get it to work - add lots of water or oil.

Verdict: This didn't taste much like spinach and artichokes. I probably didn't use enough artichokes. Taste and adjust as desired!It was still good though. I ate almost the whole thing by myself in 24 hours.


1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 tsp of lemon juice (less than above)

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1/2-1 tsp salt (I used closer to one, but start off with 1/2 and add to taste)

2-3 Tbs olive oil

2 cloves garlic chopped

3/4 c basil leaves (you can use less, but I like basil a lot)

1/3 c freshly grated Parmesan

1/4 c toasted nuts such as walnuts or pine nuts (I was running out of energy and didn't put these in, but wanted to, as the pesto recipe I have used calls for them)

Then do the same as above, adding more oil or water to thin to desired consistency. This tastes just like pesto, but the chickpeas add some healthfulness to it, and make it last a bit longer.

Though maybe not around here. Forget the "crudites." Bring a spoon!!!! YUM!

I started a batch of European Peasant Bread similar to this from the same book and can't wait to bake some tomorrow and spread a slab of it with a thick layer of this Pesto Hummus! Speaking of that bread, I ought to get baking! I haven't made much of it lately and in two or three months it's going to get too hot to rev the oven up like that.

By the way, it has been close to 60 here three days in a row now! Woohoo!

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