In April, we outlawed hummus recipes from Small Kitchen College. I’m enamored of the healthful bean dip, but enough is enough. Our team of crack college writers seemed to eat pints of hummus daily, and to compensate for the repetition, they invented hummus in a million and one forms, from spicy green lentil hummus to hummus served hot. Naturally, college students and twenty somethings looking for healthful, cheap meals and snacks will turn to hummus on the rare occasions we tire of peanut butter. But over there, we had to move on.
Here on Big Girls, Small Kitchen, the hummus embargo does not apply. Lucky me! I make hummus from scratch as often as I can. Still, as much as I adore the classic, rich with tahini and olive oil, I can’t avoid experimenting–just like the collegiate cooks.
Sometimes that experimenting includes such far-fetched, totally un-hummus-y flavors as mint and lime.
You see, as I played with flavors for today’s dip, I thought about how far we stretch the term hummus, perhaps because of its lovabililty and versatility. Everyone’s heard of edamame hummus by now, right? And if you add mint and cilantro and even half a serrano god forbid, if you go so far as to toss an avocado into the Cuisinart mini prep and make a crazy chimichurri-meets-avocado-meets-pureed chickpeas, then you may not suit the purists among you who were hoping to taste tahini. But you will strike a chord with the adventurists, the ones who say, “bring on the edamame hummus.” You’ll have created something light, delicious, and different. The freshness of the herbs, especially mint, deftly carries all-season hummus into the summer months. The taste is embargo-defying, if you will.
Are you obsessed with hummus? Is it a snack to you, or a hot-weather dinner unto itself?
Herby Avocado Hummus
Makes about 2 cups
This also works well as a protein-rich sandwich spread. I loaded slices of rosemary bread with a thick coating of Herby Avocado Hummus, sliced cukes and radishes, sharp cheddar, and honey mustard.
1 large clove garlic
1/2 serrano chile, (seeds and all) roughly chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups roughly chopped cilantro leaves (it’s fine if some stems are still attached)
about 1/2 cup mint leaves
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 2 limes
1/2 teaspoon coriander
One 14-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 of an avocado
Extra herbs for garnish
Bagel or pita chips, or baby carrots, for dipping
Combine the garlic, serrano, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small food processor or blender and pulse until finely chopped. Add the cilantro and mint, pulsing to turn them into a paste. Now pour in 1/4 cup olive oil, one lime’s worth of juice, and the cumin and coriander and process until they turn into a sauce, adding a tablespoon of water if necessary to make the sauce smooth. Scoop out 1/4 cup of the chimmichurri-like paste and reserve for drizzling.
Put the chickpeas and avocado into the food processor with the remaining herb sauce. Pulse until it turns into a hummus-like consistency, adding the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil as you go. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Squeeze in another half lime’s worth of juice – or a whole lime if you like more tang. Taste, and add more lime/olive oil/salt to taste.
Garnish with a generous drizzle of the reserved sauce and a couple of mint or cilantro leaves. Serve with your favorite dippers: chips, carrots, cucumbers, or pita triangles.
The finished dip will keep for several days in the fridge. Any leftover herb paste will keep for a few days as well and makes an excellent marinade for chicken!