Harissa Sort-Of-Hummus

Yield: 3-1/2 cups

While hummus remains an old faithful in the kitchen, there comes a time when a bit of variety makes for a more interesting vegetable plate.  Enter this dip: a combination of beans, Harissa and roasted vegetables – the perfect combination to entice the palate.  Scoop it with veggies or chips, spread it on crackers, use it instead of mayo, add it to salad dressing – there’s lots of ways to serve it up.

To get this spread happening quickly, make sure to have a supply of pressure cooked beans on-hand in the freezer.  You can also go the canned route if preferred, but the flavour just won’t be the same.

When it comes to the roasted vegetables, anything goes.  I like a combination of Pattypan or other summer squash, eggplant, and onion here – but feel free to experiment for variety in colour, texture and taste.  To roast the vegetables, cut them small (1/2 to 3/4 inch pieces), lay them in a single layer on a pan, drizzle and mix with olive oil, salt and pepper; and then cook in the oven at 400F for 45-50 minutes, flipping the veggies about half-way through.

What you need :

  • 2 cups cooked beans (a combination of white beans works best – lima, chickpea, cannellini, navy bean, Great Northern, etc.)
  • 1-1/4 cups roasted vegetables
  • 2-3 sliced scallions, white parts only (optional – if you like the raw onion thing, if you don’t, then omit)
  • 1/4 cup tahini (sesame butter)
  • 3 tablespoons Harissa (or less, or more, depending on the heat level and robustness of your spice blend)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons red miso
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (organic and unpasteurized preferred)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup water
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

What you do :

  1. Put all the ingredients except for the salt and pepper in an upright blender or food processor.  Start with the lesser amount of water and add more as you go, if necessary.  Blend until uniform and creamy, scraping down the sides of the unit as necessary (it will take several minutes, so make sure to rest the motor a few times).
  2. Taste, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready for use.

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