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Cashew Nut and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

This is one of the recipes I demo'ed as a speaker at the Boston Celiac Symposium, 1 April 2017. I also mentioned it as an easy portable lunch ingredient in my current article for National Celiac Association September 2017 glossy magazine. We love it

Watch the time lapse

Hummus, humus or hummous is a Middle Eastern dip traditionally containing ground sesame seeds which are then known as ‘tahini’ and usually available in ethnic aisle of supermarket. I have tried both store bought jars of tahini and also freshly made from a Lebanese grocer. Personally, I find tahini to be bitter and you have to buy at least a 1lb jar. So when I saw a recipe using ground cashews I tried it. Some recipes will also recommend using ordinary peanut butter instead of tahini. I have added a small quantity of sesame oil to give a slight sesame flavor, as too much sesame oil will overpower a recipe. Normally, sesame oil is only meant to be used sparingly as a final flavoring. I make this in my food processor. My vitamix makes it even smoother, but takes longer to make and is a pain to scrape out the hummus. (adapted from 1997 Mohawk Mountain ski patrol cook book).

Gluten Free Cashew Nut and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus


1 x 15 oz (14, 16oz) can chick peas rinsed and drained

1 c fresh parsley

1/2 c roasted cashews, roughly 2+1/2 oz. (ordinary cashews we buy for snacking - either lightly salted or just salted. I had to add salt to hummus using River Queen lightly salted cashew halves)

¼ c lemon juice (roughly one lemon), sometimes I add more. Plus zest for more tang.

2-3 cloves of roasted garlic, optional - I don’t like raw garlic

1 roasted red pepper - either raw red pepper roasted and peeled or from a jar, rinsed and dried.

2 tbsps green of green onions - about 4 green onion stalks - I don’t use white stalk in this recipe

fresh pepper

pinch of cayenne or splash of liquid hot sauce such as Tabasco.

1/4 c light tasting olive oil (not a strong evo) plus 2 tbsp plain yogurt or a little over 1/3 c plain yogurt or olive oil or Full Sun Sunflower Oil (made in Vermont) in total. Traditionally made with olive oil but using plain yogurt reduces fat calories and adds protein and calcium.

salt to taste

2 tsp dark sesame oil (aka roasted sesame oil, not colorless sesame oil which is tasteless) - optional

1. Put above ingredients in a food processor and puree until texture is consistency of mayonnaise. Add extra lemon juice, water or olive oil to thin more if necessary . Taste. I find that the flavor mellows with sitting in fridge overnight, but be aware that water will just thin mixture, lemon juice will make it tangier, and olive oil apart from adding flavor will add to fat content, but more olive oil really makes a difference in taste.. Raw garlic will stay with you so go with as much raw or roasted garlic as you personally want. It is better to make 1/2-1 day in advance and then adjust seasoning to your own liking, including salt. Add fresh cilantro or fresh basil in addition to parsley and green onions if you want a different flavor

2.The proper way to serve hummous is upon a flat plate, with a small hollow in the center that has a little olive oil poured in hole and sprinkled (if you wish) with sweet paprika, cumin, more chopped fresh parsley and a pinch of cayenne if you desire. Serve with raw vegetables as a crudité or pieces of soft pita bread cut into pieces and baked in 350* oven for 15-18 minutes until crispy but not really brown. One pita bread can be toasted in ordinary toaster.

3.Roasted garlic: I buy container of peeled, whole garlic cloves in Costco, put peeled garlic cloves in small milk pan, cover with olive oil, and slowly cook until garlic is light brown and soft. Add salt and pepper once cooked. Transfer to container, cool and refrigerate. I find this far easier than roasting head of garlic, cutting off top of garlic and squeezing out the cooked garlic. I also puree roasted garlic with some of the oil and freeze it squished flat in 1 quart, freezer weight ziploc bags.

4.I tried using sun dried tomatoes instead of red bell pepper and I thought it wasn’t tasty enough.

5.Warning: Cayenne pepper is a very hot 100% ground pepper with nothing else added. Literally a pinch is all that I used. I have taped up the holes on my jar of cayenne pepper so that only 3 out of 11 holes are open. You can always add more cayenne after making the dip but you can’t remove the heat if you add too much cayenne. The heat factor does increase on standing. You could also use a liberal grinding of fresh white or black pepper for some heat instead of cayenne pepper.

6.In Greece and in Greek restaurants we have been served a selection of different appetizers known as Meze (various spellings shown) which have included Hummous, Taramosalata (a dip of smoked cods roe) Raita (a yogurt, mint and cucumber dip) all served with pitta bread, as well as stuffed vine leaves and dishes of Greek olives.

NOTE: toast individual whole wheat pita bread and spread with hummus, fill with lettuce, tomato etc, even deli turkey for hearty, healthy lunch. For gluten free I spread a gf wrap with hummus and top with various shredded lettuce, carrots, cues. Wraps roll more easily if fillings are little pieces/shredded.

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