For the past month (or maybe longer), I have had a supply of my Roasted Red Pepper Hummus in the refrigerator, and I have eaten some at least once every day, usually with my beloved Stacy's pita chips. What can I tell you? I just love hummus. It's healthy, filling, and it can be eaten in many different ways. In addition to scooping it up with pita chips, I'll eat it with carrot sticks, spread it on a toasted English muffin, or I'll make it into a sandwich. Cans of garbanzo beans and jars of roasted red peppers I purchase in bulk and they line my pantry, and I buy cumin by the bag from Penzey's Spices (great site for buying spices in bulk).
Today, after I polished off my latest batch of Roasted Red Pepper Hummus at lunch, I felt like changing things up a bit. I found a forgotten eggplant in the vegetable crisper, which I had originally been planning to use for making caponata (maybe next week). This inspired me to make a new hummus variation, combining it with the flavors of the Middle Eastern eggplant spread, Baba Ghanoush. Roasting the eggplant until very soft gives the hummus a smooth texture and a slightly smoky flavor. A pinch of cayenne adds some heat (I usually like to add a few pinches), and flat leaf parsley provides a fresh finish. Just a few additional tips for this healthy, easy Eggplant Hummus:
- When roasting the eggplant, I like to line the baking sheet with foil or parchment paper to prevent sticking and to facilitate clean-up.
- Instead of chopping the parsley at the end, feel free to add it to the food processor, along with the other ingredients. This eliminates a step and make the recipe even easier.
- Tahini is a sesame paste, often used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. It can be found among the organic, health or natural foods in your grocery store. Keep it refrigerated after opening or it will spoil.
Makes about 2 cups
1 large eggplant, halved lengthwise
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
Generous pinch of cayenne
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Score the flesh of the eggplant halves in a crisscross pattern at 1-inch intervals, 1/2 inch deep. Run the cut sides with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place the eggplant on a rimmed baking sheet, cut sides down, and bake until very tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool slightly and then scoop the flesh into a food processor. Add the garbanzo beans, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and cayenne. Puree until the mixture is very smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper and serve.