I went diving into my freezer last night, hoping for inspiration for dinner. My freezer is full of surplus summer vegetables, and I need to start clearing it out. During my freezer dive, two packages of frozen roasted eggplant slid out. I love eggplant, and always seem to have too much during the summer. So, I grill or roast it, peel and then freeze it. So now I have two packages and need to figure out just what to do with them.
Baba ganoush is a standard dish made with pureed eggplant, and I decided to do a riff on this – sort of a cross between baba ganoush and hummus. I scrounged around a bit more and found some frozen cubes of pesto, and found a partial container of ricotta in the fridge.
So, unlike traditional hummus which is made with chickpeas and tahini, I combined eggplant, some tahini and ricotta in the blender. I seasoned it with pesto sauce, garlic, Aleppo pepper, smoked cumin and olive oil. Voila! A delicious dip for raw vegetables like cauliflower and carrots, wonderful slathered on toast with avocado for a savory breakfast, or as a smoky bread spread for a tomato and cheese sandwich.
Basic Hummus (substitute at will!):
2 cups chickpeas (or cannellini beans, black-eyed peas or roasted eggplant)
1/2 c. tahini (or walnut or hazelnut butter)
1 T. lime juice
1 t. cumin
1 clove garlic
1/4 t. cayenne
Salt to taste
Blend all but the olive oil. Gradually add enough olive oil to make it creamy but not runny. Season with salt to taste. Refrigerate for the flavors to blend and serve at room temperature.
A few fun combinations:
Black beans with sour cream, cumin, garlic and chopped chipotle chiles in adobo. Serve with tortilla chips or toasted corn tortilla wedges
White beans with almond butter, roasted peppers, roasted garlic. Serve with pita chips or toasted baguette slices.
Black-eyed peas with crumbled crisp bacon, sweet onion and sweet peppers. Serve with cornbread squares
To traditional hummus, add chopped roasted red peppers, a couple of tablespoons of cooked pumpkin or butternut squash or sun-dried tomatoes.