If your Instagram feed is full of foodies, you’ve probably noticed that crudite platters, cheese plates and other intricate displays of gorgeous bite-sized morsels are having a big moment. Veggies, hummus, crispbreads, nuts, seeds, fruit, avocado roses – I’m totally into all of it, and obviously it was only a matter of time before I decided to take a crack at my own.
Many of the people I know here in Vancouver aren’t actually from Vancouver. They’re transplants just like me, who left their previous homes for life on the west coast. And, just like me, they have no regrets about doing so. It means not always seeing family during holidays, but the next best alternative at this time of year is celebrating Thanksgiving with friends – often potluck-style. When you get a bunch of great people together who also happen to be great cooks, the result is an epic Friendsgiving feast.
We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving a couple weekends ago, and the Friendsgiving meal my friend Chels hosted seemed like the perfect opportunity to put my platter-making skills to the test. Not wanting to mess up, I turned to Instagram for a little inspiration, listed out my ingredients and went to Whole Foods to procure the goods.
As is the case about 95% of the time when I go to Whole Foods, there were a few in-the-moment purchases made that weren’t on my original list of platter foods. The type-A in me decided the best approach to ensuring everything would fit was to map out a diagram of the empty plate, then draw on where the ingredients would go. Yes, I’m being serious. Pen went to paper. There were carrot areas, cracker sections, nut territories and endive zones. And hummus regions – 3, in fact.
As you guys know, I’m all about colour – the more of it on my plate, the better. Whenever I brainstorm recipes, I usually end up cutting down on ingredients a few times because there are so many things I want to include, but also know sometimes simple is best . On this occasion there were 5 (yep, 5!) different hummus variations I wanted to create. The list was trimmed to 3 when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to fit enough dipping foods on the platter to transport all that hummus to our hungry mouths. While the chosen 3 hummus recipes had very different tastes, but they also had one thing in common – none of them contained chickpeas.
Whaaaaaat you say? Chickpea-free hummus? Yep, it’s a thing – a big thing in my kitchen. I usually boil my own chickpeas whenever I need them because cans that potentially leach chemicals into the food inside creep me out a bit. Time was running short on this particular afternoon though, so I figured I’d skip the chickpea boiling and just go straight for veggie-based hummus. (Another added perk: If you follow a paleo diet and/or don’t tolerate beans + legumes well, these could be the solution!)
These chickpea-free hummus recipes are little lighter than traditional kind, but still full of flavour (maybe even more than you’re used to), smooth and really pretty to look at. Best of all, the ingredients are super simple. If you’re feeling compelled to make your own party plate, these would be worthy additions!
- Place all ingredients in the food processor and puree until completely smooth.
- If needed, add a bit more lemon juice or water to thin and puree again. Note that the hummus will thicken if left in the fridge.
- 1 1/2 cups diced zucchini (peel it for a smoother result)
- 3/4 cup cilantro (stems and leaves)
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 1 tbsp each tahini and extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1 lime + 1 tsp lime zest
- 1 small clove minced garlic
- 2 small green onions (scallions), white and light green parts, chopped
- 1/8 tsp each sea salt and black pepper
- Puree everything in the food processor until completely smooth. This hummus will be a bit thinner than the others because zucchini holds more water, but know that it will thicken in the fridge.
- Adjust seasonings to taste with sea salt and pepper.
- 1 cup peeled + diced purple beets
- 2 cloves garlic (no need to chop them up)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper
- 2 small shallots, peeled and halved
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 tbsp minced ginger root (or more, if you love ginger like me!)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp water
- Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment. In a bowl, toss the beets and garlic cloves in olive oil and scatter them out on the parchment. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, and roast for 20 minutes.
- Once partially cooled, transfer the roasted beets and garlic to a food processor along with all remaining ingredients. Puree until completely smooth, pausing occasionally to scrape down the sides with a spatula.
- Adjust seasoning to taste with sea salt and black pepper. If you want to add more ginger, do it now and puree again until completely smooth.
So tell me… do you have any delicious twists on hummus? Any favourite dips or go-to potluck dishes I should know about?