Hummus Lovin’

The internet needs another hummus recipe like I need another final exam to cap off this grueling school semester, and yet, like a moth drawn to the light, I simply can’t help myself. Enlivened with fresh veggies, roasted gently to reveal their natural sweetness, that humble bean dip has reinvented itself and squeezed its way back into my chickpea-loving heart. It’s like a familiar tune played on a new instrument; comforting, beckoning, yet altogether novel once again.

After the sparks had waned and the romance dwindled over a frigid winter season, it only makes sense that the love affair should resume alongside spring fever. Warm weather calls for cold food, plus the call for potlucks and outdoor dining demand an agreeable staple that needs little fussing over in advance, and so returns hummus, with a vengeance. I have yet to meet a more perfect spring or summer party companion than well-chilled hummus.

Just like a proper primavera, what’s so endearing about this little number is that nearly any fresh, seasonal veggies that are ripe and ready are ideal for swapping in. Think asparagus, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, even fresh peas! My only advice is to keep the shiitake, onion, and garlic constant, and they make up the backbone of this flavor profile, quietly hinting of umami in the background.

Hummus Primavera

3 Medium Zucchini
1 Medium Carrot, Peeled
1 Medium Yellow Onion
4 Fresh Shiitake Mushroom Caps
4 Cloves Garlic
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 14-Ounce Can Chickpeas, Drained and Rinsed
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 Tablespoon Water (If Needed)
Black Pepper
Fresh Parsley

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Roughly chop the zucchini, carrot, and onion, and place in a large bowl. Add in the mushroom caps, whole, peeled garlic cloves, and toss with the oil to coat. Spread all of the veggies out in one even layer on your prepared baking sheet, and roast for approximately 30 minutes; until the vegetables are all fork-tender and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Meanwhile, place the chickpeas in your food processor along with the lemon juice, tomato paste, salt, and spices. Blend to combine, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. The mixture should be somewhat dry at this point, as the veggies will add a lot of moisture. Introduce about half of the roasted vegetables to the food processor, and thoroughly puree, until super smooth. Have patience, because depending on your machine, this may take up to 5 minutes.

Once silky-smooth (or as smooth as you can get the consistency), add in the remaining roasted vegetables, and pulse to incorporate. I like to leave it a bit chunky so that you actually know what you’re eating here, and to give it a bit more color and texture. Add more water only if needed, along with a pinch of freshly ground black pepper and parsley to taste. Transfer to an air-tight container, and thoroughly chill for at least 3 hours before serving.

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