Homemade Hummus & Crostini

My favorite holiday is almost here! Guys, I love, love, love Thanksgiving. It is by far the best holiday, and in preparation for this glorious holiday I have been whipping up some delicious posts for you this week!

This post is all about homemade hummus and crostini. This is an easy snack that can served before the big meal, so if you need to put something out for your guests to munch on, or if someone asks you to bring something to share, this my easy, make-ahead suggestion to you.

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This is the recipe my Mom uses. She makes hummus for almost all holidays and big family parties. I remember making it with her back when we thought it was better to skin the chickpeas first (trust me, it does not make a noticeable difference), and I always associate hummus with holiday times and special occasions (even though I eat it all year round!). So, let’s get this hummus started already!

Hummus

adapted from:

The Complete Middle East Cookbook
by: Tess Mallos

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 2/3 cup tahini (available in some supermarkets and in most deli’s)*
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 can water (use the chickpea can)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt to taste

*A note on this ingredient, if you cannot find tahini, sesame oil will do, just add to taste, 1 tsp at a time.

Are you ready for these super hard instructions?

Directions:

Place all ingredients (except salt) in a high-powered blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Taste. Add salt to taste.

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So here’s the thing about hummus, yes you can absolutely buy it at the store, and it tastes great, but homemade hummus tastes even better to me and I also like to make a chunkier hummus than you generally see in stores. So give it a try, and let me know how you think it compares. Additions such as roasted garlic, toasted pine nuts, or roasted red peppers are welcome!

Next, let’s make some crunchy homemade crostini to go with our hummus!

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Crostini

Ingredients:

  • 1 baquette, cut into slices
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper, dried oragano

*A note on this ingredient; These can be seasoned many different ways and still come out delicious! The flavor combinations are endless and can be tailored to match whatever is intended to top the crostini.

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Arrange the baquette slices on a cookie sheet. They can be very close together. Brush the slices of bread with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with spices.

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Bake for 30-40 minutes until level of desired toasted perfection is achieved. I like mine to be fairly dark and golden brown, but they are also good when only slightly toasted, so feel free to play with the bake time on this recipe.

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I love these because they are so easy to make and great make ahead snacks for any dinner party. They can be topped with hummus, or meat and cheese or pretty much any topping making them a very versatile snack, and a nice homemade touch to any party.

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Coming up later this week: Non-traditional Thanksgiving sides to accompany your turkey!


 

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Hummus

adapted from The Complete Middle East Cookbook by Tess Mallos

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 2/3 cup tahini (available in some supermarkets and in most deli’s)*
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 can water (use the chickpea can)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt to taste

*A note on this ingredient, if you cannot find tahini, sesame oil will do, just add to taste, 1 tsp at a time.

Directions:

Place all ingredients (except salt) in a high-powered blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Taste. Add salt to taste.

 

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Crostini

Ingredients:

  • 1 baguette, cut into slices
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper, dried oregano

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Arrange the baguette slices on a cookie sheet. They can be very close together. Brush the slices of bread with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with spices.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until level of desired toasted perfection is achieved. I like mine to be fairly dark and golden brown, but they are also good when only slightly toasted, so feel free to play with the bake time on this recipe.

 

Avocado Tomato Summer Salad

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I bought some plants a couple of weeks ago and in celebration of them still being alive I decided to eat them! Err, some of them. Ok, that sounds weird. Good thing I don’t have a pet pig or calf?

Anyway, 2 weeks ago I got myself a basil plant and a peppermint plant. I’m proud to report that they are both thriving. To celebrate the success of my basil plant I am making my favorite summer salad. It is a refreshing and quick salad that is great on a warm summer night. I know it’s not quite summer-time yet, but this sunny 80 degree weather here in Charleston has got me already thinking about summer. (And also how I’m going to start melting when July and August come around)

Avocado Tomato Summer Salad

Ingredients

½ cup chickpeas, drained

1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced length-wise

1 ripe avocado, peeled and cubed

1 slice of a red onion

½ cup cubed mozzarella (optional)

fresh basil leaves (as many as you like)

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

¼ tsp smoked paprika (regular is ok too)

2 tsp olive oil

Combine the chickpeas, tomatoes, avocado, red onion and mozzarella (if using) in a bowl.

Next stack the basil leaves on top of each other and roll together. Slice the basil thinly, and this will create small, thin basil strips. Add the basil to the bowl.

Finally add the spices and olive oil and toss together. Voila!

Mmm Mmm Mmm Avocado Tomato Summer Salad and Balsamic Glazed Pork. YUM!

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Avocado Tomato Summer Salad

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and cubed
  • 1 slice of a red onion
  • ½ cup cubed mozzarella (optional)
  • fresh basil leaves (to taste)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika (regular is ok too)
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Directions:

Combine the chickpeas, tomatoes, avocado, red onion and mozzarella (if using) in a bowl.

Next stack the basil leaves on top of each other and roll together. Slice the basil thinly, and this will create small, thin basil strips. Add the basil to the bowl. Finally, add the spices and olive oil and toss together.

Satisfying the Crunch Factor

The crunch factor; a craving that can only be satisfied by consuming crunchy food items. Food items can be of either the sweet or salty persuasion. The crunch factor often occurs; while working on the computer for a prolonged amount of time, watching the tv or movies, playing video games, or around 4 pm (aka snack time).

Ah, yes, the crunch factor. I’m always looking for ways to keep it healthy and still satisfy the CF. While I’ve tried out a variety of crunchy snacks, roasted chickpeas is my new favorite way to satisfy my crunchy cravings.

Roasted chickpeas are an ideal CF snack because they are (1) easy to make, (2) store well in air tight containers, and (3) are a healthy and flavorful alternative to potato chips.*

*Ok, fine I’m not a nutritionist, but I swear these crunchy beans are better than Doritos and Cheese-its.

So here it is, roasted chickpeas two ways; spicy and sweet.

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
Ingredients:
2 cans of chickpeas (15 oz cans)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne
Optional Add-in: a dash of “Perfect Pinch” for chicken (or any other pre-mixed spice combination of your choice)

First drain the chickpeas in a strainer.

Wash with cool water to rinse the starch off.

Next pour the beans onto a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to air dry. The key to these becoming a crunchy snack inside-out is allowing them enough time to thoroughly dry. I recommend allowing them to air dry for at least 1 1/2 hours-2 hours.

After allowing the peas to dry, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Next, in a small mixing bowl combine the chickpeas with the olive oil and all spices.

Give it a good toss to evenly distribute.

Next, pour the chickpeas onto the prepared baking sheet so that they are in a single layer and pop into the oven.

These will take 40 minutes in the oven before reaching optimal crunchiness. Every 10 minutes take the tray out and toss with a spatula. Do not shake the pan to rotate the peas when they are hot, as this might cause them to pop/explode in one’s face. You’ve been warned.

Sweet Roasted Chickpeas
Ingredients
2 cans of chickpeas (15 oz cans)
1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp granulated sugar
Optional Add-in: a dash of apple pie or pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp honey

To make the sweet version of these crunchy peas follow the directions above EXCEPT only toss the dried chickpeas in olive oil, cinnamon, sugar, and any additional spices you have selected. Immediately after taking them out of the oven, pour the chickpeas into a small mixing bowl and toss them with the honey while still piping hot. Pour them back onto the baking sheet and allow them to cool and the honey to harden.

Also, since these have sugar on them they need to be monitored more closely in the oven to prevent burning. Bake for only 30-35 minutes.

 

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Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of chickpeas (15 oz cans)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne

Directions:

First drain the chickpeas in a strainer. Wash with cool water to rinse the starch off.

Next pour the beans onto a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to air dry. The key to these becoming a crunchy snack inside-out is allowing them enough time to thoroughly dry. I recommend allowing them to air dry for at least 1 1/2 hours-2 hours.

After allowing the peas to dry, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Next, in a small mixing bowl combine the chickpeas with the olive oil and all spices.

Give it a good toss to evenly distribute.

Next, pour the chickpeas onto the prepared baking sheet so that they are in a single layer and pop into the oven.

These will take 40 minutes in the oven before reaching optimal crunchiness. Every 10 minutes take the tray out and toss with a spatula.

 

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Sweet Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of chickpeas (15 oz cans)
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • a dash of apple pie or pumpkin pie spice (optional)
  • 1 tbsp honey

Directions:

First drain the chickpeas in a strainer. Wash with cool water to rinse the starch off.

Next pour the beans onto a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to air dry. The key to these becoming a crunchy snack inside-out is allowing them enough time to thoroughly dry. I recommend allowing them to air dry for at least 1 1/2 hours-2 hours.

After allowing the peas to dry, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Next, in a small mixing bowl combine the chickpeas with the olive oil and all spices.

Give it a good toss to evenly distribute.

Next, pour the chickpeas onto the prepared baking sheet so that they are in a single layer and pop into the oven.

These will take 30-35 minutes in the oven before reaching optimal crunchiness. Every 10 minutes take the tray out and toss with a spatula.