52 Weeks of Hummus //Healthy //Herbs //Potager //Recipes
Spinach Artichoke Hummus
3 min read
A Healthier Favorite
If spinach artichoke dip is a requested staple, you wont be disappointed with this healthier variation. Spinach artichoke hummus is a dairy-free, protein-rich full of fresh flavors (or pantry staples). Enjoy with warm flatbread, toasted crostini, carrots, steamed artichokes, and radishes.
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 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.
ARTICHOKES: FOOD OF THE GODS
Artichokes are one of the oldest know foods, dating to antiquity. As the legend goes, Zeus transformed a beautiful young mortal Cynara, into a goddess. Homesick, Cynara sneaked back into the mortal world. After discovering her deception, Zeus turned her into an artichoke. The artichoke’s scientific name, Cynara scolymus, reflects this story.
Native to the Mediterranean, the artichoke is actually the edible flower bud of a thistle plant in the sunflower family. In fact, if left to develop, the artichoke will blossom into an extraordinary, spiky, brilliant purple flower.
In written history, the artichoke dates back to the time of the Greek philosopher and naturalist, Theophrastus (371-287 B.C.), who wrote of them being grown in Italy and Sicily. Between 800 and 1500, it’s probable that the artichoke was improved and transformed, perhaps in monastery gardens, into the plant we would recognize today.
Spinach Artichoke Hummus
Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups of fresh hummus | 4 servings
Created from years of making hummus
1 1/2 cups hydrated garbanzo beans/chickpeas (this is approximately 1 can), drained (reserve water brine)
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
1/2 cup fresh spinach, diced (can use frozen too)
1 cup fresh or marinated artichoke hearts
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 small garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
Pinch of sea salt
Glug of really good extra virgin olive oil
Really good extra virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt + Freshly cracked pepper
1 tablespoon sliced almonds
1) Drain the hydrated garbanzo beans reserving the liquid to help thin the hummus, as needed. Place in a high-powered blender or food processor with tahini, spinach, artichokes, lemon juice, garlic, ground pepper, and a small 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 teaspoons of reserved bean liquid to help thin. Add one circle of olive oil (about 2 teaspoons) and blend again.
4) Place hummus in a shallow bowl. Garnish with sliced almonds, freshly cracked pepper, and flaky salt, and extra virgin olive oil for extra visual appeal – and taste.
Serve the hummus with warm flatbread, toasted crostini, carrots, steamed artichokes, and radishes.
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