Episode 39: How to Turn Hummus Into Legit Family Dinners

SPOILER: THIS ISN’T WHAT REAL LIFE LOOKS LIKE

SPOILER: THIS ISN’T WHAT REAL LIFE LOOKS LIKE

Hummus, hummus, the magical dip, the more you use it, the more you … get to relax about dinner, because, you guys, this stuff really is magic. It’s kid-friendly, high in protein, and good for way more than a snack or lunch. Once you start using hummus as more than a sandwich spread or a dip for veggies and pita chips, a world of 10 to 20 minute dinner options opens up before you.

From how to turn it into a pasta sauce to using it to transform a boring rotisserie chicken into an exciting meal, we share our favorite ideas for turning hummus into a legit family dinner.


Lessons From a Hummusiya

Ideas from Israeli quick-serve counters

Hummus meal at Dizengoff | Photo: Anna Dickson for Zagat

Hummus meal at Dizengoff | Photo: Anna Dickson for Zagat

Hummus has quickly become America’s favorite dip, but the way we tend to use it is fairly limited compared to how it’s used in Israeli and throughout the Middle Eastern. Though hummusiyas and other hummus-centric quick serve restaurants in the region may not offer particularly varied approaches to how hummus is served, they do inspire a huge variety of hummus meals that can easily serve as dinner. And the magic is in the very simple combination of a hummus base and toppings—nearly any toppings you can imagine. At least when your making your hummus bowl at home.

In this episode, other than a couple of super quick out-of-the box ideas (hummus as a pasta sauce!), we go over how to make and buy hummus and the anatomy of a dinner-worthy hummus bowl.

The gist is that you’ll need:

  • hummus (we talk through the merits of store-bought vs shortcut homemade vs classically made homemade)

  • veggies (we throw tons of ideas your way, but thing anything from kohlrabi to the cucumbers and cherry tomatoes you keep on hand for your kid’s lunchbox; also, your veggies can be hot, room temp or cold)

  • a protein (from shedded store-bought rotisserie to a hard cooked egg or leftovers to quick sautéed ground beef or lamb)

  • fresh herbs (key, if you ask us, but also often not a kid favorite, so we talk about how to work around that)

  • flavor bomb toppings (think capers, pickles, quick pickled onions, olives, etc.)

  • spices and quality olive oil to finish, maybe some acid like a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, too, if you like

And of course, we also talk about what you need to scoop and eat it all up. Because pita bread isn’t the only option.

In fact, this part of the conversation had us wondering: Can this just be another form of nachos?!

Israeli-Style Hummus Bowls | Photo: Ted Cavanaugh for Bon Appetit

Israeli-Style Hummus Bowls | Photo: Ted Cavanaugh for Bon Appetit

Want to dig deeper? If you’re looking to learn more about the things we reference in this episode — and to have all of what you need for the most killer hummus bowl — here’s your one-stop shop:


 

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How do — or will — you top your hummus bowl to make it a dinner your family will love?

Chime in on this week’s conversation on Facebook! You can find us as there as @didntijustfeedyou. And if you’re a listener who knows the answer to the secret question, be sure to join our Listeners’ Group too.