I’ve been needing a snack and appetizer makeover. I often overlook them because I focus so much time cooking or preparing for the main meal. So I decided that it’s time to spice things up! This Mediterranean Hummus was exactly what has been missing in my paleo life.
It really tastes like hummus, and not just regular hummus, a wonderfully flavored roasted veggie one. Roasted peppers, cauliflower, and eggplant are seasoned with tahini sauce, lemon juice, cumin, olive oil and garlic and blended together to create a rich, creamy, and thick hummus alternative.
I probably would have never thought to make this had the idea for a Mediterranean potluck not come up. As I thought of Paleo options that I could bring to such an event, my mind kept turning to hummus. I love hummus! In fact, when I first started eating Paleo, I assumed that I’d be able to eat chickpeas and thus hummus. But I was wrong. After reading my first book on the Paleo diet, it became clear that legumes are not part of the diet. I can’t explain the technicals in detail, but the basic gist of it is that something in legumes can cause damage to the inner lining of your intestines and this is especially harmful for those who have an auto-immune disease.
As I researched further, I found information saying quite the contrary, that legumes are not harmful. Chris Kresser’s “Are Legumes ‘Paleo'” article was very informative to me. Despite all of the various information, since I am following the paleo diet, I wanted to create a paleo hummus without chickpeas. To keep with the Mediterranean theme, I wanted this hummus to have hints of red pepper and eggplant… and this Mediterranean Hummus could not have come out better!
Roasting the veggies was key here. I cut up 1/2 of a red pepper, 1/2 of an eggplant, and a full head of cauliflower and roasted them in the oven until they were nice and caramelized. I let them cool and then put them in the blender with the appropriate spices. I had to use a spatula to push down the sides of the blender several times, but the process is pretty quick.
I slowly seasoned the hummus to make sure that I had the seasoning correct. I found that using equal parts tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice resulted in the best flavor. I went light on the cumin because it is a strong spice to me, so if you taste it and think it needs more, then keep some extra handy in case you need to add it. I also like my hummus thicker, but if you like it more liquidy, then just add more olive oil.
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into smaller florets
- ½ of a red pepper, sliced
- ½ of an eggplant, sliced
- 4 Tbs tahini
- 4 Tbs +1 Tbs olive oil (divided- 4 tbs for the hummus, 1 tbs to roast the vegetables)
- 4 Tbs lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp cumin
- paprika for garnish
- olive oil for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Cover a cookie sheet in aluminum foil and pour 1 Tbs olive oil on top. I use a silicone bbq basting brush to evenly spread out the olive oil on the pan. (the brush looks like this)
- Put the sliced up eggplant and red peppers and the cut up cauliflower florets on the pan.
- Put the vegetables in the oven for 40 minutes. Make sure to flip them half way through.
- Let the vegetables cool.
- Then put the vegetables, tahini, 4 Tbs olive oil, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, pepper and cumin into a blender ( I used a ninja ).
- Blend the ingredients until they turn into a hummus texture. I had to stop blending to scrape the sides of the blender with a spatula about 4-5 times. This all should take about 5 minutes, depending on the setting of your blender.
- Once the hummus is done, garnish it with some paprika and olive oil, and enjoy!