Mushroom Hummus with Thyme + Rosemary

January 22
3 min read
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Crispy Mushrooms + Savory Herbs

Crispy sauteed mushrooms seasoned with savory herbs and garlic make a decadent treat for mushroom lovers. The addition of fresh herbs on top brings out all the flavor notes and if you want to make it a savory sweet delight, drizzle a small amount of locally sourced honey over top. If you’re lucky to have a little left over, it’s even better the next day with crispy kale and runny eggs.

The Modern Potager Kitchen Garden

The joy of the modern potager is getting to expand your culinary skills and make restaurant-quality meals at home. Picking fresh ingredients from the garden and turning them into something that awakens your tastebuds and thrills is really what life is all about.

It should come as no surprise that I have a high appreciation of historical foods as an heirloom gardener. One of the oldest and most historically relevant dishes in human history is hummus.

And I could eat hummus morning, noon, and night. On its own with fresh flatbreads, alongside eggs, or loaded with roasted veggies. It’s this love of hummus that led Matthew to adamantly state, “You cannot survive on hummus and cucumbers alone.” As we shared a plate of one of my favorite variations, roasted red pepper hummus, with fresh radishes, cucumbers, and herbs from the showcase garden, the challenge of his statement kept dancing in my mind.

While it made me laugh in the moment, the notion that I could not survive off such a healthy dietary staple sent me down a path of cultural exploration and adventures in the kitchen for weeks on end. I wanted to understand the lore surrounding hummus and its impact upon the world. And truth be told, I wanted to discover if one could survive on hummus without getting bored.

In short, I’ve accepted the challenge to explore all that hummus has to offer in both traditional and new ways with the help of some fantastic local chefs, food bloggers, and a little creativity. Together, we’ll make a year’s worth of delicious hummus variations—52 recipes that feature the best of seasonal produce and pantry essentials.

We’ll test various cooking techniques, discussing the pros and cons of each method to achieve multiple results. While some chefs swear by using dried chickpeas and removing the skins, today’s high-powered blenders make quick work of tinned beans with their skins intact.

THE HISTORY OF HUMMUS

The earliest known origins of hummus date back to the 13th century, with several cultures claiming the creation of the savory dip. Yotam Ottolenghi, chef and cookbook author, writes about the hummus wars in his book “Jerusalem: A Cookbook.” But Israel isn’t the only country where people argue over the best hummus recipe. Palestinians, Egyptian Arabs, Greeks, and other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries also declare hummus as their dish, each region adding its own nuances.

The essence of the classic hummus recipe are chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and salt. As cooking methods have changed over the centuries, the textural preferences and techniques used to create the creamiest dip have altered the base recipes.

MUSHROOMS: A MYSTERIOUS HEIRLOOM FUNGI

For centuries relatively little was known about mushrooms, until the French introduced mushrooms into their haute cuisine. It wasn’t long before the rest of the world began to embrace the mushroom. In the late 1800s, Americans finally began cooking more with mushrooms. One of the first English language mushroom cookbooks was written by Kate Sargeant, One Hundred Mushroom Receipts (1899). Today, the most commonly consumed variety of mushrooms are buttons, or Agaricus bisporus, which makes up about 40 percent of the mushrooms grown around the world.

Mushrooms are valued for their medicinal properties thanks to the heavy dose of protein, potassium and polysaccharides, which contribute to healthy immune function.

Some of the earliest commercial mushroom farms were actually set up in caves in France during the reign of King Louis XIV (1638-1715).

Raw button and crimini mushrooms with garlic and herbs in a sautee pan
Mushroom Hummus with Thyme + Rosemary plated with parsley, sauteed mushrooms, rosemary and flatbread on the side

Mushroom Hummus with Thyme + Rosemary

Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups of fresh hummus | 4 servings

Created from years of making hummus

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups hydrated garbanzo beans/chickpeas (this is approximately 1 can), drained (reserve water brine)
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
1 mixed pound mushrooms, cleaned + sliced (you can get as fancy as you wish here – button and crimini work well)
1 Lemon, cut for juice
2 garlic cloves, one cut in half + one minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon fresh marjoram
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary
Sea salt + fresh cracked pepper
1 teaspoon butter + 1 teaspoon olive oil
Small glug of really good extra virgin olive oil

Really good extra virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper
1-2 tablespoons sauteed mushrooms, reserved
Mixed fresh herbs, finely chopped – thyme, parsley, rosemary, and marjoram

1) Heat a large saute pan with butter and olive oil. Add mix of sliced mushrooms, one minced garlic clove, half of the fresh thyme, rosemary, and marjoram. Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Saute until golden brown.

2) Drain the hydrated garbanzo beans reserving the liquid to help thin the hummus, as needed. Place in a high-powered blender with tahini, juice from half the lemon, small garlic clove, sauteed mushrooms, remaining fresh herbs, and freshly cracked pepper and a pinch of sea salt. Blend at high speed until smooth, scraping down the sides if needed. If the mixture is not blending well, add 1-2 tsp of reserved bean liquid to help thin. Add one circle of olive oil (about 2 teaspoons) and blend again.

2) Place hummus in a shallow bowl and dress with reserved sauteed mushroom mix, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkling of flaky sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, and a mix of fresh garden herbs. This hummus is delicious with fresh thyme, parsley, a pinch of rosemary, and chives on top.

Serve the mushroom hummus with raw, fresh veggies and warm flat breads. Even better the next day with crispy kale and runny eggs.

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