Healthy Recipe Thursday: Artichoke Hummus

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Artichoke Hummus from Pinch My SaltToday’s recipe is courtesy of Nicole from her great blog Pinch My Salt.  I’ve followed her since we met this summer at the National Cherry Festival where we were both guests of the Cherry Marketing Institute, there to learn all about the health benefits of tart cherries.  (Another plug for them: I’ve been using tart cherry juice concentrate mixed with seltzer and also to sweeten smoothies.  It’s a nutritional powerhouse with a  distinctive flavor that I love.)  But back to Pinch My Salt.

Nicole kindly gave us permission to feature her recipes and photos here, both of which are always great. I’m taking her up on her offer with this artichoke hummus, which she came up with while trying to thriftily use up what was in her frig. Wish I’d seen this recipe before when I had half a huge jar of marinated artichokes left over from a party. It languished in my frig for ages before I finally tossed it because the oil turned rancid.

As to the health benefits of the recipe — with beans, artichokes, tahini and olive oil, how can you go wrong?  A brief shout-out to the beans and artichokes: They’re both fiber-rich, full of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, and appear to have cholesterol-lowering benefits.  We serve hummus frequently at Green Mountain, where women come for our healthy weight loss spa, not only for its nutrition but also ‘cuz it’s so satisfying.

Artichoke Hummus

1 15-ounce can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
6 ounces marinated artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped or pressed
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
juice of half a lemon (or more, to taste)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
small squirt of Sriracha (optional)

1. In a food processor, combine garbanzo beans, artichoke hearts, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil.  Process until smooth, adding water to thin if necessary.  Add salt and Sriracha (if using) to taste. Extra lemon juice or tahini may also be added to taste.

2. Spoon hummus onto a plate, creating a bit of a well in the center.  Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.  Serve with your favorite flat bread, crackers, chips, or fresh vegetables.

Recipe Notes: Ingredient amounts, including garlic can be adjusted to suit your own taste.  Be careful with the hot sauce, a little bit adds a nice boost, but too much will overpower the flavors of the hummus.  If you cook your own garbanzo beans rather than using canned, reserve a bit of the cooking liquid to thin the hummus in place of plain water.

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