Land of Leftovers

Summer begs for quick meals and snacks. What could be faster than popping a few choice ingredients into a food processor and pulsing them together for a few seconds to make a creamy bean dip that's known the world over as hummus?

Hummus is tradionally used as a dip in Middle Eastern regions with pita bread. However, its uses are far from limited. This creamy dip can also be used as a unique spread on sandwiches, a creamy base for a vegetable pizza or a creative thickener for exotic soups. Its uses are only limited by your imagination. On hot summer mornings, I like to spread some hummus on a warmed pita and slice wedges of fresh nectarines or peaches over the top. It's a delicious way to start the day!

I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . I'd also encourage you to experiment with this month's recipes and make them your own. Enjoy!

Quick Hummus

Traditional hummus involves soaking and boiling dried garbanzo beans for hours. This great recipe gives you the same great taste without all of the time and effort.
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans -- drained and liquid reserved
  • 4-6 T. sesame paste or smooth peanut butter
  • 2 handfuls fresh parsley or cilantro leaves
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 pinches ground black pepper
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil

Chop the garlic finely in a food processor. Add the beans and 1/2 of the reserved liquid and process finely or to desired consistency. Add the sesame paste or peanut butter, parsley or cilantro, lemon juice, black pepper and salt. Process the mixture until it forms a paste. Drizzle in the olive oil and process until it reaches the consistency of mayonnaise.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: about 10 minutes

Hummus and Veggie Grinder

The creaminess of the hummus and the crunchy vegetables combine to make a great lunchtime meal that can be carried anywhere.
  • 1 whole wheat sandwich roll
  • 2 T. hummus
  • 1/2 cucumber -- peeled, seeded and sliced
  • 2 slices red onion -- chopped
  • 4 cherry tomatoes -- halved
  • 1 T. chopped black olives
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Spread the hummus liberally on the sandwich roll. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Spoon into the prepared sandwich roll.

  • Yields: 1 servings
  • Preparation Time: about 10 minutes

Hummus and Veggie Pizza

The hummus on this pizza adds flavor and a great source of fiber to the meal. Choose an exotic sharp cheese for a special touch.
  • 1 prepared Boboli crust
  • 1/2 c. hummus
  • 1/4 c. chopped zucchini
  • 1/4 c. chopped onion
  • 1/4 c. chopped red bell pepper
  • 4 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 4 oz. shredded sharp cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Place the crust on a pizza pan and spread the hummus evenly over it. Layer the remaining ingredients over the crust. Bake for 8 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: about 15 minutes

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