Raise your hand if you like hummus. Awesome! Don’t tell me if you don’t. [Admittedly, I’ve come across a number of non-bloggers who thought that ‘weird chickpea mush’ wasn’t delicious but they don’t count.].
The preparation of this dish is just a little more involved – not too much, I promise! – and the result is delightful. Creamy hummus, fresh and [thanks to the balsamic vinegar] rich tomato sauce and plenty of vegetables – my idea of perfect comfort food.
If you’ve been reading my blog for any time you’ll have noticed one ingredient sneaking into about 90 % of my lunches: chickpeas. To say I was slightly obsessed would be an understatement. It’s no surprise many of the [savoury] recipes I create include it and they may or may not make an appearance as snacks, too. Never enough chickpeas for a legume fiend. And hummus? It’s one of the best dips ever inventened so how could you be opposed to eating a huge amount of it in one dish rather than a measly two-tablespoon-serving?
Once more I included mushrooms in this dish. Not only for being a quick-cooking vegetable but for its amazing meaty texture. Don’t skip them!
What probably makes this recipe slightly strange but [very] good is my topping. Rather than using plain old breadcrumbs I always opt for one of my favourite puffed cereals when some crunch is neccessary:
For the tomato sauce:
200 ml (about ¾ cup + 1 tbsp) tomato sauce/passata
1 clove of garlic, peeled
1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar [this is key!]
½ tsp each dried oregano and basil
150 g chickpeas (for me this would be 3/5 of a ‘normal’ can)
1 tbsp tahini
2 tbsps freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp granulated onion
¼- ½ tsp garlic powder*
¼ tsp smoked paprika powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
A few leaves of fresh basil [sub ½ tsp dried if you don’t have it]
Salt + pepper to taste
About 4-5 medium cremini mushrooms, sliced not too thin
1 medium zucchini, sliced thinly
Unsweetened puffed amaranth
Preheat the oven to 350 °F/175 °C.
Start by preparing your tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a small pot and add the garlic, frying until fragrant. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and let simmer on medium heat until it has boiled down slightly.
Blend all hummus ingredients and add more seasonings if needed.
Assemble: Start by covering a small [single-serving] casserole dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Add zucchini slices, top with about 1/3 to 1/2 [depending on the size of your dish] of the hummus and add a layer of mushrooms. Continue like this with the remaining ingredients. Sprinkle the top with puffed amaranth [could alternatively use bread crumbs] and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Let sit for five minutes after baking allowing the casserole to set [or be like me when hungry and completely ignore this - it's delicious either way]. I recommend topping it off with more nutrional yeast.
*use fresh garlic by all means if you can. I’m a little sensitive to its taste when raw so seeing as I like scooping up any remainders from the blending bowl I use dried here.The hummus in this dish is pretty basic so use your go-to recipe in case you have one. If this still seems too involved I’m sure you could substitute your favourite store-bought hummus [we can find about two brands of hummus in stores around here coming in no more than four different flavours so I always prepare my own]. Don’t however sub out the mushrooms. Yes, this needs a double mention to make sure you won’t ;).
Happiness inducing today: The woman at the supermarket I’d helped finding an ingredient chatting me up about cooking advice. Foodies all around :).
What’s your favourite flavour of hummus?
Homemade or storebought? Share your favourite recipes!
Do you agree that a two-tablespoon serving size is just ridiculous?