It is not every day that I get this excited about sharing a recipe. There is so much that I want to share but most of it gets put aside in my mind while I change another exploding diaper or save a restless child from trying to put a sharp shiny object in its mouth.
Life is just like that right now. And then there are barbecues. The kind of barbecues that remind you that dinner can be easy and quick and you don’t have to plan too much.
I am well aware that barbecue for you is not barbecue for me. When I say barbecue, you might think of ribs or steak or chicken wings. When I think of barbecue, it all ends and begins in the same place, around a plate of hummus.
Yes, hummus! I can not eat food on the grill without hummus somewhere on the table.
It has to be on a round plate and have layers of flavors and colors. I can’t do it any other way. Hummus is like the round table of legumes. You need to use your bread to wipe the plate. You need to sit around the plate with a friend or your spouse and keep talking and eating until it is gone. And keep swiping your bread in a circular motion. I can’t have it any other way.
Every meat tastes better with hummus. Bread tastes better with hummus. Heck even lettuce tastes better with hummus. I could eat a whole head of lettuce wrapped in hummus.
The recipe is on the bottom but first let me tell you some more about what I like to grill.
Grilling for me has to be easy and fast. Applegate Farms hotdogs are a quick and tasty way to get food on the table. They are not the hotdogs that you get that are full of the icky bits of meat that nobody wants. Applegate farms meats don’t have antibiotics, their livestock eat a complete vegetarian diet, they are grass-fed and made with natural and organic ingredients. They are popping up all over Seattle and Portland lately and I have come to love this easy alternative for dinner.
This post is part of the Applegate blogging program (full disclosure below) but I have absolutely no problem telling you that I am very picky about my hotdogs, especially since I know my little boy is going to eat them. The products are made from whole muscle meat and no mystery ingredients. I also love that the company says that if you are not familiar with an ingredient, you can email them and they will tell you all about it. Plain and simple, I don’t do well eating fake stuff so I feel good knowing what goes into the hotdogs I serve my kids.
A weeknight barbecue dinner in my house includes hotdogs, hummus, corn on the cob and at least one salad.
There is always a large salad. I will put every vegetable I find in it. And my secret ingredient is pickles. They add just the right amount of crunch and I don’t need to add salt to the salad.
And now for the hummus. It is not a recipe but more of a ritual. Here is how you can do it at home.
2 Cans of chickpeas (or use dried chickpeas soaked over night and cooked).
1-2 cloves of garlic (optional)
Juice of half a lemon- one lemon (depends on preference)
2-4 tablespoons of tahini
Salt of choice
*Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend made up of dried herbs, sesame, sumac and other spices. You can find it at any specialty spice shop such as World Spice Merchants, Market Spice or any Middle Eastern Specialty store.
Start by draining the chickpeas (you can save some liquids to thin out the hummus later) and then putting them in the food processor. Add the tahini, I use between 2-4 tablespoons (start with 2) and process until you get a paste. Now taste. Add more tahini if you like it that way. Add the lemon juice. Keep tasting. Add cumin to taste, start with one teaspoon and then add another if you like. Add Salt. You can always add a few drops of the leftover liquids if it is too thick.
Now take a small round plate. Use the back of a spoon or a spatula to swirl it around the plate in large circular swirls, making the rounds around the plate. Cover the whole plate.
Drizzle oil between the lines of the circles. This is not the time to be stingy. Be generous.
Now get some of the za’atar spice if you have some. Sprinkle away generously again. Add paprika and sprinkle away.
Sometimes I also like to fry mushrooms and onions and put those on top.
That’s it! Use your bread to dip into the hummus in kind of a wiping motion (kind of like wiping the counters down). If you have pita, even better. We like to use tortillas that have been heated in the oven until crispy. And lettuce, particularly iceberg lettuce is great for dipping.
This is easy for the kids too. My son loves it with crackers or baby carrots. M Even my babies love it. Hummus on a spoon without all the spices in it is a perfect snack for teaching babies how to hold a spoon. They just hold it and lick it.
If you don’t feel like going “the whole nine yards”, you can buy hummus but find the time to layer the rest of the stuff on top of it. It will make a world of difference.
Who needs spoonfuls of peanut butter when you can snack on spoonfuls of hummus?
Do you want to know more about Applegate Farms, follow them on Facebook.
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Applegate blogging program, to earn My SocialMoms Rewards Points. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. To read more posts on this topic, click here.