Hummus As A Meal.
Hummus As A Meal. It’s a thing. Topped with anything from cooked chickpeas to slow roasted meats, the the Middle East hummus is a meal of its own served with hot toasty pita and pickles. I want you to try and think of hummus more than just a dip or spread that accompanies a pita wrap. You can make a full on dish of hummus for dinner.
On this episode of “Hummus As A Meal” I bring to you a simple, fresh cauliflower salad with spicy Aleppo pepper and a super herby, vibrant green tahini sauce. It’s soooooo fresh right now and makes me so happy since it involves no heat. It’s currently 97˚ in Atlanta.
I love cauliflower raw, roasted, grilled, sautéed, any which way. And if you don’t already know this, vegetbales will taste differently depending on how you cut them. Here, I have decided to risk my fingers, and maybe my life, by slicing the cauliflower into very thin florets on a mandoline. PLEASE BE CAREFUL. A mandoline is the most dangerous tool in the kitchen. Followed by the microplane which I also use here to grate the garlic for the dressing. LOL. The dressing is very simple with fresh garlic, lemon juice, Aleppo pepper, olive oil and just a touch of honey to balance. It’s a great all-around dressing that can be used for any salad.
But this green tahini sauce…. daaamn. It’s a way to get rid of all the wilted herbs you have laying around. I use parsley, cilantro, and mint. Feel free to throw in whatever else you have in that fridge though! Chives, tarragon, dill… it will all work.
Hummus: This method of making hummus is my “cheats” version. I generally say to make the best hummus, you have to start with good dried chickpeas. This version uses a quick way to achieving the smoothest hummus from a regular can of chickpeas. Read more here!
Cauliflower: When cutting up the florets, be sure to slice them very thinly… like 1/4″ max! Please you a good mandoline to do this. If you don’t have one, do your best with a knife! Or just chop them into tiny, small florets.
Tahini: Use a raw tahini that tastes good to you! I always get asked what my favorites are so here goes in no particular order:
- When cutting the cauliflower: Watch. Your. Fingers. And. Knuckles. Please. A mandoline is sharp and can do a number on your hands. Use a hand guard if you are not comfortable with it or just a knife!
- When making the green tahini: Be sure to blend the herbs and all very, very well before adding the tahini. It should look like a green juice.
- I left my green tahini sauce fairly thick but feel free to add more cool water to make it more runny which I also do on many occasions.
Check out more hummus recipes:
Aleppo Cauliflower Salad and Green Tahini over Hummus
- Food Processor
- Mandoline, optional
- 1 can chickpeas 15.5 oz can SAVE THE LIQUID
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cup tahini
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 pinch cumin
- 1 tsp kosher salt I use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
GREEN TAHINI SAUCE
- 1 cup parsley leaves
- 1 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup mint leaves
- 1 clove garlic , grated on microplane or garlic press
- 1 cup cold water
- 2 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- kosher salt
- 1 cup tahini
ALEPPO CAULIFLOWER SALAD
- 1 head cauliflower , core removed & slice thinly on mandoline
- 1 clove garlic , grated on microplane
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper flakes , red pepper flakes are ok too or Urfa
- 1/2 tsp honey or agave
- kosher salt
- good quality olive oil
- black & white sesame seeds , optional
- parsley leaves
- toasty pita or just really good bread
For the Hummus
- While the cauliflower is roasting, bring the chickpeas, the liquid they came in, baking soda and about 1/2 cup of water in a medium pot to a boil over medium high heat.
- Immediately turn the heat down to low and skim any foam that rises to the surface.
- Simmer until the chickpeas are incredibly soft and some of the skins have come off, about 8-10 minutes.
- Let cool for 15 minutes or as long as it takes you to chop that salad!
- Reserve about 3/4 cup of cooking liquid and drain chickpeas. (You can always add water later if you don't have enough cooking liquid)
- Place the chickpeas and garlic clove in the bowl of a food processor and blend on high until smooth. Scrape the sides down once to make sure it's all getting smooth!
- Add the tahini, lemon juice, cumin, salt, and about 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid from the beans and process until very smooth and light in color, at least 2 minutes. The texture should be like soft serve ice cream. If it looks too thick then add more cooking liquid (or water). If the hummus is still warm, it will get thicker as it cools so keep that in mind!
- Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and lemon juice to your taste.
- This will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days in an airtight container.
For the Tahini Sauce
- In a blender, place the parsley, cilantro, mint, garlic, water, lemon juice, and salt. Blend on high for about 1-2 minutes until homogenous and very liquid-y.
- Add the tahini and blend on high until creamy and smooth. You may need to add more water if it is too thick!
For the Cauliflower Salad
- Make the dressing by whisking together the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, Aleppo, honey, and salt to taste.
- Toss the cauliflower with the dressing.
- Place the hummus by swirling it onto a serving dish making a kind of well in the middle.
- Add some green tahini, garnish with lots of olive oil, sesame seeds and za'atar. Place the cauliflower salad on top and garnish with more herbs. Serve with pita or bread!