Hummus is definitely an under-appreciated condiment, if you will, in the United States. Call it opinion or upbringing, but I had never tried the stuff growing up. Not that we disliked it, chickpeas were an occasional part of our diet; hummus was just as foreign a substance in my household as grits are in the average Midwest establishment. The idea of a bean dip being so utterly delicious and versatile is a continuing revelation that I am glad to partake in.
Hummus purists may stone me for saying it, but here goes. The more I tinker and blend the concoction the more convinced I become that chickpeas and tahini are not essential ingredients. Ok, I got that off my chest and am now ready to talk some serious blasphemy. These hummeses were created with the mindset that to break the mold is a good thing. Getting a little radical and funky is what good food is all about. Not that these are Wylie Dufresne bizarre, but they are certainly not combos to be found in a market and that is definitely the point of good food. These party pleasers or snacking gems are so tasty you will wonder why you have never used some of these under-appreciated peas for some now appreciated dips.
Smoky Blackbean Jalapeno Hummus
This dish may sound more familiar than the others, but believe me the hickory smoked sea salt is a real incredible thing with the meaty turtle beans. This would also make a killer burrito topper.
1 can black beans drained
2 garlic cloves
2 jalapenos halved and de-seeded
1/2 C olive oil
1 tsp. hickory smoked sea salt
*2 pieces bacon, crisped and crumbled
Puree ingredients thoroughly and check consistency which may vary according to bean. Add a splash more olive oil if needed. Crumble bacon on and enjoy with sesame crackers or chips.
The citrusy tang of the salsa verde really marries well with the earthiness of the peas and cumin. If you are not accustomed to eating black-eyed peas now is the perfect opportunity.
1 can black-eyed peas drained
1/2 C. salsa verde (or 1 tomatillo and a squeeze of lime juice)
1 garlic clove
1/4 C. olive oil, may vary
1 small shallot
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. sel de gris salt
Puree ingredients thoroughly and add a little more salt or a grind of pepper to taste. Garnish with a dollop of salsa verde and a sprinkle of cumin. Enjoy with sesame crackers or tortilla chips.
Butterbean Pimento Cheese Hummus
This version is where it gets radical. Dawn was unsure of using cheese but the end result is delicious. It is a hybrid between cheese dip and hummus with added creaminess from the butterbeans and just enough spice from the pimentos.
1 can butterbeans drained
1 4 oz. can pimentos drained, reserving some for garnishing
6 oz. colby cheese
1/2 C olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt salt
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
Puree until ingredients become a smooth creamy cheddar orange. Sprinkle a few pimentos on top for garnish and enjoy. This dip goes excellent with saltine crackers, chips, or as a spread.
2 Sesame Crackers
These crackers really pop from the duo of good sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds. They accompany dip perfectly and won't last long after they are baked if there is anyone in the kitchen.
1 large egg
1 1/2 T. water
3/4 C. all purpose flour
3/4 C. white wheat whole flour
1 T. sugar
1/2 T. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 stick of cold butter chopped
2 T. toasted white sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl until fully incorporated. Cut butter into dry ingredients until clumpy sand consistency. Add egg and stir until incorporated without overdoing it. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into squares with fork prick marks or cut into circles and bake for 17-22 minutes.