Hummus and Grilled Baguette

I like going against the grain, especially when it comes to the ingredients I use in my food. It usually doesn’t take much time for me to deviate from the traditional way of doing things in the kitchen, but for one specific dish, it has taken years.

Hummus. It’s delicious. It’s versatile. It’s a dip. Who doesn’t love a good dip? For a long time, I’ve made various kinds of hummus using olive oil as the blending agent. What I’ve found is that olive oil, though extremely healthy, can have a very distinct flavor that at times will overpower a raw dish like hummus. So I had to ask myself: what oil can I use as a substitute?

This hummus recipe I share with you uses canola oil in conjunction with vegetable broth to both cut down on the fat and let the flavors of all the other ingredients shine. Flavorful olive oil and fresh herbs are a complement to the silky dip that pairs perfectly with pieces of grilled baguette — an accompaniment that takes mere seconds to prepare.

Spawned on a night when my husband and I were looking for something light to eat, this dish is great for a party of two or many and will be enjoyed by all.

Hummus and Grilled Baguette

(recipe serving size – 3 cups)

For the hummus:

2 cans of garbanzo beans

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tsp olive oil plus extra for garnish

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp kosher salt

3/4 tsp cracked black pepper plus extra for garnish

1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped plus extra for garnish

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 tsp smoked paprika plus extra for garnish

Combine ingredients in a food processor and blend for about 1-2 minutes until smooth. Scrape the sides of the food processor to make sure all of the ingredients are incorporated. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour if possible to let the flavors permeate the dip. Serve cold or at room temperature.

For the baguette:

1 baguette (roughly 2 feet in length)

2 tb olive oil

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Slice one baguette into 1/2-inch slices on the bias and brush one side of each slice of baguette with olive oil. Once your grill pan is hot, place the slices of baguette onto the pan, oiled side down. Grill for 1-2 minutes until you’ve achieved grill marks on the bread. During this time, brush the slices of baguette on the sides facing upward with more olive oil. Turn the slices over and grill for another 1-2 minutes.

If you are grilling the bread in batches, place the grilled pieces of bread on a baking sheet in one layer and keep warm in your oven at 250 degrees while you prepare the rest of the baguette

Bringing it all together:

Scoop the hummus into a bowl. Sprinkle the top of the hummus with the extra cracked black pepper, smoked paprika and fresh thyme. Drizzle olive oil over the top and serve alongside the grilled baguette.

Creative liberties:

Whenever I’m looking for a healthy alternative to snacking or even to replace full meals, hummus is always my go-to. Here are a few tips to make this dish an even healthier one.

  • Reduce the fat. Follow this recipe but leave out the canola oil. Compensate by adding more vegetable stock if you find the hummus is too thick.
  • If you are watching your carb intake, serve the hummus alongside fruit and veggies like celery, carrots, thick slices of bell peppers and cherry tomatoes.
  • For a great twist on your next sandwich, use this hummus as a condiment. Smear 1-2 tb on your bread before loading your sandwich up with slices of tomato, avocado and arugula. A sandwich like that can be eaten cold but best served panini-style.

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