Hello friends. I’m typing from my friends’ light-filled home in Kansas City, with their two dogs puttering around nearby. It’s a happy place. I make a point to travel as much as possible, and the opportunity to travel has already presented itself twice this month. I pack light, sleep well and get to soak in new sights. It’s invigorating. I especially love the chance to catch up with old friends and meet new ones while I’m away.
I’m glad Erin chose hot hummus for this week’s Food Matters Project recipe. Oh, the possibilities it presented! I have wanted to try making white bean hummus since I saw Melissa’s caffe DeLuca-inspired recipe last summer. Ironically, I got to meet up with Ms. Fauxmartha herself just a few months later during my trip to Chicago last fall, and we shared drinks over caffe DeLuca’s white bean hummus!
I’ve been looking for an excuse to use roasted garlic in a recipe lately, so I decided to add a couple of heads of roasted garlic to the mix. My friend Michael introduced me to roasted garlic a few years ago. Michael and I have a curious tradition of getting together to roast garlic, which we slather like butter onto crusty bread while watching Arrested Development and drinking glass after glass of red wine. I highly recommend it. Beware of consuming excess amounts of roasted garlic and wine on work nights, however, lest you go to work with a hangover and a belly ache, while the once-heavenly and now-nauseating scent of garlic seeps out of your every pore. (Potential employers and future suitors: please disregard my last statement.)
I also thought I’d take the opportunity to roast some kabocha squash while I roasted the garlic. I followed Heidi’s instructions, tossing the slices in olive oil, sprinkling them with salt and then roasting them at 425 degrees “within an inch of their life”. I ate slices with the skin on, but next time I’ll cut the skin off before baking.
This was my first kabocha squash experience and, like, woah. Kabocha knocks the pants off acorn squash, and delicata squash doesn’t stand a chance. Kabocha could beat butternut squash in a fist fight, for sure. It’s battling against sweet potatoes to become my cold weather vegetable of choice. It’s a knock-down, drag-out fight and I think kabocha just might win. This is a fiercely delicious winter squash. Get one before it’s too late.
I served my roasted kabocha and white bean hummus with whole wheat linguine and a sprinkle of chopped fresh rosemary and lemon juice. Though my pictures may not present this dish in its full glory, please store this flavor combination in your mind for next fall: white beans, roasted garlic, kabocha squash, rosemary. It’s one worth remembering. Another key takeaway is that warmed white bean hummus makes a wonderfully creamy and hearty vegan pasta sauce. My hummus had the texture of mashed potatoes, but you could certainly thin it out by whisking in some extra olive oil, water and/or lemon juice, if desired.
- 2 to 3 heads of garlic
- 3 cups cooked Great Northern beans, or other white beans, liquid reserved
- ⅓ to ½ cup cooking liquid or water
- ¼ cup olive oil (plus extra to drizzle on top)
- ¼ cup tahini
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- chopped fresh rosemary, for sprinkling on top
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Roast the garlic: chop off the heads of the garlic, and cut off the tops of each clove. Place on aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and wrap tightly in foil. Toss in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until nice and golden on top. The cloves of garlic should yield easily to pressure.
- In a food processor, combine the white beans, cooking liquid or water, olive oil, tahini, salt and pepper, and lemon juice. Let the garlic cool until it’s comfortable to touch, then squeeze out each individual clove of garlic and add to the food processor. Blend well, and adjust seasonings to taste (add more olive oil, salt and pepper, or lemon juice as necessary).
- Transfer to a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until warm. Sprinkle with rosemary. Serve with roasted or raw vegetables, pita chips or pita bread, toasted crostini, or a loaf of crusty whole wheat bread. The options are endless. If you want to make a meal of it, I highly recommend serving it with whole wheat linguine and roasted kabocha squash.
- Adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook. Find Mark Bittman's original recipe at Naturally Ella.
- As I've mentioned before, I've gotten into the habit of cooking big pots of beans from scratch and freezing them for later. For this hummus, I defrosted roughly three cups of beans and tossed them into my food processor, which was even easier than cranking open cans of beans.