Hummus Heaped with Summer Salad

Photo by Deb Perelman of The Smitten Kitchen

JP tells me that the tomatoes are again in abundance this week at Glade Road Growing, as are onions and green peppers, so I thought I'd come up with a recipe inspired by this picture by Deb Perelman, who notes that "throughout the Middle East, there are hummusiots/hummsias, places that serve hummus warm and freshly made, often a little softer than what we get here, usually heaped with other things."

If you live in (or near) Blacksburg and want something more special than store-bought but don't feel like baking pitas  or yogurt flatbreads, you can get great pita bread from Jess Schultz and Pete Macedo at Blacksburg Bagels at the Farmers' Market or from Aaron Grigsby at Tabula Rasa on Glade, the Glade Road Growing farm kitchen.

Perelman is somewhat "persnickety" and peels her chickpeas.  (Or since she lives in NYC, she can go over to Lexington Avenue and buy dried peeled chickpeas, say what?)  I, on the other hand, am more laid back, other than to refuse to make my hummus from canned chickpeas, which I swear a cookbook author suggested at a demo the Virginia Festival of the Book.


Serves 4



1 cup of dried chickpeas
1/2 cup of sesame seeds
3-4  cloves of fresh garlic, smashed, peeled
3 tablespoons of lemon, lime or orange juice
1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon cumin

4 large pita breads or yogurt flatbreads


1 1/2 cup of heirloom and cherry tomatoes, chopped small,
1/2 pound of small cucumbers, washed, unpeeled, chopped small
1 bell pepper, chopped small
1/4 medium red or white onion, chopped small
1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons herbs (cilantro, parsley, mint, oregano, thyme or chives or a mixture of those), finely chopped
1 teaspoon of ground sumac (optional, if you cannot find it.)


1.  The night before, in a heavy bottomed stainless steel pan, cover dried chickpeas with three cups of water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover with lid and simmer for five minutes.  Let soak overnight.  Drain and rinse the chickpeas and repeat, but this time simmer until soft, about an hour to an hour and a half.  Drain and rinse a second time.

2.  Heat a cast iron skillet lightly coated with extra virgin olive oil until a bead of water evaporates.  Cover bottom of skillet with raw sesame seeds and toast until they just pop.  Transfer to a bowl to cool.  Repeat until all the seeds are toasted.

3.  In a heavy duty blender or food processor combine the cooked chickpeas, the toasted sesame seeds and the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.  If your hummus seems too too thick, you can thin it with cool water.  (You can also substitute water for the olive oil to make a lower fat version, but really, why?)

4.  Warm 4 large pitas or flat breads, one at a time, in a cast iron skillet and cut into wedges

5. Mix tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, bell pepper, lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. If you have sumac, add about 1/4 teaspoon. Stir in half of herbs, reserving the rest for a garnish

6.  Spread hummus on a large plate with the back of a spoon, creating swirls and cavities. Drizzle it lightly with additional extra virgin olive oil.  Heap salad on hummus and arrange pita wedges around the edges of the plate. Finish with a sprinkling of the remaining sumac and fresh herbs.



Photo (no photographer credited) from Epicurious

JP tells me that this week's farm share will include lots of tomatoes of various types.  They're so pretty you could just sliced them on a platter or dice them with watermelon in a salad.  If it cools down, they'd be delicious in tomato pie.  If it doesn't, here's another way to serve them, in a simple gazpacho which doesn't, like the more complicated versions, require blanching the tomatoes and seeding them.  I use quinoa in this soup,  rather than bread cubes, which still provides a smooth texture while having the advantage of being gluten free, if you have friends that are on restricted diets.


Serves 4


3 cups of tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 cups cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 cup sweet pepper, chopped
1 1/4 cups onion, chopped
3 cups canned tomato juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (such as tarragon, thyme, basil, parsley and/or cilantro)
1/4 balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves smashed, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons of lime juice
1 cup of cooked quinoa
sea salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon cumin


1.   In a bowl, reserve 2 tablespoons each of the tomato, cucumber, pepper, and onion, plus the herbs to garnish.
2.   Purée the remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth, adjusting the seasoning to taste with lime juice, salt, and cayenne pepper.
3. Cover and chill thoroughly, at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.
4.  Serve in chilled bowls garnished with the reserved vegetables


Beet and Carrot Salad with Curry Dressing and Pistachios

Photo by Marcus Nilsson for Bon Appetite


Serves 8

JP says the July 18 bag share will include carrots and beets, so I thought a salad with a curry dressing might be nice.  I liked this picture accompanying a recipe by Rebecca Collerton, who at the time had just finished a stint at Brooklyn's Mr. Curry.  I could find no news of where she is now.  The recipe called for "curry powder."  The spice blend in this dressing is my own.


1/2 cup shelled pistachios
1/2 tsp sea salt

Curry spices:
1/2 tsp ground cumin 
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, smash, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon miso
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

4 small beets or 2 large beets quartered, peeled and sliced thin
4 medium carrots, peeled, shaved lengthwise into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
1 tablespoon lime juice


1.  In a warm, oiled skillet, toast pistachios until golden brown and season with sea salt.  Let cool, then chop coarsely.

2.  In a small saucepan, toast curry spices over medium heat, add oil and bring to a simmer, swirling occasionally.  Let cool.

3.  In a blender, process garlic, miso, vinegar, and mustard.  With the motor running, stream in curry oil. Blend until dressing is smooth.  This dressing can be made up to two days ahead of time.

4.  Toss beets and half of dressing in a medium bowl; season with salt. Let sit until beets soften slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Add carrots and remaining dressing and toss.  Season with lime juice.

5.  Arrange on a platter or in individual bowls and serve topped with pistachios.


Beet, Chickpea and Cauliflower Salad

Photo from Nine.com.au Kitchen

JP tells me that the farm share from Glade Road Growing for July 11 will include cauliflower, beets and red onions, so I thought this salad might be good.


Serves 4


1 cup of dried chickpeas
1 fresh bay leaf
2 large beets or 5 small ones.
1/2 cauliflower, broken into florets
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cup greens (beet greens, chard, kale, arugula, tatsoi or combination thereof, coarsely chopped)


4 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled and chopped coarsely
2 teaspoons wholegrain prepared mustard
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon miso
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1.  Cover chickpeas in water and bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Drain and rinse and add three cups of water.  Bring again to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes, turn off heat and soak for at least two hours.  Rinse a second time, add three cups of water and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour or until soft.

2.  Dice beets into 1 inch cubes, if large or quarter small beets.  Steam for 10 minutes or until tender.  Let cool and peel, unless skins are tender.

3.  Steam cauliflower florets for about 7 minutes or until tender.  Let cool.

4.  Coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil and heat until a bead of water evaporates.  Add onions and cook until translucent.  Add greens and saute for 5 minutes.  Add a bit of water and steam for another 5 minutes.  Take off heat.

5.  Combine dressing ingredients in a small jar and stir to combine.  Toss with cooked ingredients and chill in refrigerator in a wide mouth mason jar.  Screw on lid and invert.

6.  Divide among four bowls and serve.

If you like you can top this salad with crumbled feta cheese.  You can also add walnuts, pecans or almonds, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.


Grilled Summer Squash

Photo from Oh My Veggies blog.

This week's farm share from Glade Road Growing will include summer squash,  which have a soft, thin edible skin and a mild flavor.  They can be eaten raw or cooked--steamed, sautéed and grilled.  They are also great simmered in soups and pasta sauces.  JP asked for a grilled squash recipe, so here is one of mine.


Serves 4


1 pound summer squash, with stem trimmed off and sliced 1/4 inch thick lengthwise


1 T water
3 T  miso
1 T lime juice
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 t honey
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1/2 t cumin
2 green onions, thinly sliced


1. Prepare grill for indirect-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal.

2.  Combine ingredients for marinade a large bowl.  Reserve half for dressing in a small pitcher.

3.  Toss squash in marinade and let stand in refrigerator for  at least 15 minutes or up to four hours to absorb flavors.

4.  Place vegetables directly over hottest part of coals, uncovered.   Cook for 4 minutes, turn over grill another four minutes or until tender.

5.  Transfer to a platter.

6.  Pour dressing evenly over squash before serving or, if you prefer, serve with tzatziki (my first-ever recipe developed for Glade Road Growing) or grated fresh Parmesian, Asiago or cheddar cheese. (For the latter, grate cheese while the squash is still warm, so that it will melt.)


Aaron at Tabula Rasa, Glade Road Growing's farm kitchen, was serving summer squash last night on a sandwich with pesto, olive oil and Meadowcreek Dairy's Appalachian ( a tome-type) cheese. Yum!

Photo from Tabula Rasa on Glade.

Here are some previous recipes for summer squash, which you can make now, before the eggplant and tomatoes come in and you can make ratatouille:
Summer Squash and Potato Torte
Savory Skillet Veggie and Feta Cornbread
Yellow Squash and Onions with Brown Sugar