Veggie Bread Hummus

beets

I got this delicious recipe when I attended the 2013 World of Healthy Flavors conference at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley. Ana Sortun is a famous chef in the Boston area who has been cited as one of the best creative fusion practitioners in the US. Her restaurant Oleana in Cambridge, MA, offers a unique style of foods influenced mostly by the cuisines of Turkey, Lebanon, and Greece. Her husband’s farm, Siena Farms, provides Sortun’s restaurant with all of its fresh produce.

Fresh and hearty, this unique twist on the classic bread & hummus combination is a satisfying spring lunch or dinner. Flavors of dill, lemon and tahini enliven the senses while an underbelly of chickpeas, beats, avocado and toast offers protein and fiber rich sustenance. It's perfect alongside a cup of afternoon tea in the garden.

Veggie Bread Hummus
Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 cup onions or leeks, sliced
6 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. garlic, chopped
¼ cup lemon juice
1 markouk bread or pita
2 Tbsp. tahini
1 Tbsp. coconut milk Greek-style yogurt (or 1 Tbsp. extra avocado)
1 Hass avocado
2 Tbsp. pine nuts
1 tsp. salt
2 roasted candy striped or gold beets
1 Tbsp. dill, chopped

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Drain the soaked chickpeas and cover with 6 cups of water in a large saucepot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 35 minutes or until tender. Add salt to the water when they are cooked and drain half of the water out. Allow them to sit and absorb some salt. Stir in 1 teaspoon of garlic and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

3. In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, sauté the onions with 1 tablespoon of olive oil until they are slightly caramelized. If you are using leeks, sauté them until they are very soft but do not brown them.

4. Season the onion or leeks with salt to taste.

5. Cut the mountain bread or pita into 1 or 2 inch squares and place in a large mixing bowl. Coat them with 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil, trying to rub the oil into the bread as much as possible with your hands. Bake for 7 minutes or until golden and crisp.

6. Toast the pine nuts (preferably in a little olive oil) and season with salt.

7. Puree the avocado, tahini, lemon, yogurt and remaining garlic in a food processor until smooth and creamy.

8. For assembly of the dish, scatter the bread squares on the bottom of a baking dish.

9. Bring the chickpeas up to a boil. Taste the broth and the chickpeas to make sure they are seasoned nicely. Ladle the chickpeas over the bread, making sure that just enough liquid comes halfway up the bread. The bottom should be wet but the top should remain crispy. Top the chickpea mixture with the onions and sprinkle the top with pine nuts.

10. Bake for 10 minutes.

11. Dice the beets and toss them with a little salt and olive oil.

12. Spoon some of the bread hummus onto a serving plate and top with a spoonful of avocado and a spoonful of chopped beets and some chopped dill.

Recipe by Ana Sortun, as presented at the 2013 Worlds of Healthy Flavors conference.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 550
Protein: 14g
Carbohydrates: 46g
Fiber: 14g
Saturated Fat: 5g     
Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g
Monounsaturated Fat: 22g
Trans Fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 1g
Sodium: 671 mg
Potassium: 909 mg

Photo Credit: Farmanac

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