There’s a restaurant called Hummus Bar in London that has a section on their menu dedicated to hummus. Hummus with mushrooms, hummus with beef, hummus with falafel. I went there once, but since that meal I’ve started topping my hummus, viewing it as a base on which to add vegetables and spices. It works particularly well if you’re making hummus purely to eat bread with – you get two dips in one. 

Below are my favorite ways to zhuzh up a simple bowl of hummus

 

1. Zaatar, Sumac and Olive Oil

The easiest way to dress up hummus is with a little drizzle of olive oil and a generous sprinkling of zaatar and sumac. Dukkah also works really well on hummus. 

 

2. Confit Leeks

I’ve adapted this recipe to make my version of the perfect confit leeks for hummus

To make: 

  1. Slice two leeks (white and pale green parts only) and then rinse them well, separating the layers as you wash. Leeks need to be washed really well to get rid of dirt that’s often hidden in the layers. I prefer cutting leeks before washing them as it lets you keep that circle shape, and it’s easier to wash and separate the layers once they’re in pieces.  
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small pot. Add leeks, ½ teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon water. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook until leeks are melt in your mouth tender, about 20 minutes. Stir the leeks often and watch them to make sure the oil and water don’t burn out. After 20 minutes if there is excess water, uncover the lid and let that water cook out.
  3. Top your hummus with the confit leeks, adding a little drizzle of olive oil. 

 

3. Roasted Red Peppers 

This comes from this white bean dip 

To make:

  1. Roast 1 red bell pepper. There are many methods to do this, some do it over a stove, others in an oven. I prefer placing the pepper on a baking sheet and roasting it in an oven which has been preheated at 250°C or at a broil temperature. Turn the pepper every 5-10 minutes as one side chars until the pepper is blackened completely. Remove and let cool. Once cool, peel the skin off. It should now be easy to remove with your hands. Cut the pepper open and remove the seeds. Slice into thin strips.
  2. Add ½ tablespoon olive oil to a pan and heat. Add in the roasted red pepper, 1 red chili (deseeded and finely chopped) and 1 garlic clove (minced). Mix well, then add in ½ tablespoon red wine vinegar and cook on a low temperature, stirring often, for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, season to taste. 
  3. Top your hummus with the roasted red peppers. 

 

4. Green Chili Sauce

This recipe comes from the cookbook Hummus to Halva (slightly adapted) which also inspired my hummus topping. There is an entire section filled with ideas and recipes for topping your hummus. This dip is great alone, added to falafel, shawarma, a grilled cheese or on hummus. I love that it’s not too spicy so doesn’t overpower what you pair with it. 

To Make: 

Blend together the following ingredients in a food processor 

115 grams long green chilies deseeded and cut into chunks

115 grams plum tomatoes, cut into chunks 

25 grams fresh parsley (or coriander if that’s what you prefer)

4 large garlic cloves

½ teaspoon ground coriander

Salt to taste 

 

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