Tag Archives: #recipes

Cuter than Humphry: The CD recreates San Francisco’s iconic Humphry Slocombe’s Secret Breakfast ice cream

 What’s the “secret” in secret breakfast? What does breakfast have to do with ice cream? Find out below and get a fun ice cream recipe to impress your friends!When I had my first bite of Secret Breakfast at San Francisco’s iconic Humphry Slocombe ice creamery, I was a skeptic unmade. Its velvety base bears a subtle, smoky hint of bourbon with a touch of saltiness and butter. The best part is a bite of bourbon-laced clusters of cornflakes. I can safely say I’ve never had bourbon for breakfast, but if I had a secret breakfast, this one would be ideal.

A few friends convinced me to host a potluck in the urban oasis I call my San Francisco apartment, before I have to move out. With a great setting, I wanted to make something memorable. Homemade ice cream definitely has a Wow! factor, so I needed something unique. But I was out of ideas. Perhaps something adult and refined. Something unique.

It hit me: why couldn’t I try my hand at recreating Humphry Slocombe’s Secret Breakfast? Bourbon ice cream? I previously experimented with bourbon when I made this bourbon-caramel ice cream last year. And I had stale Frosted Flakes in my pantry, so it was doable.

The brown-butter bourbon custard base is creamy and the bourbon flavor subtle. If you have more time, you could separately reduce a larger quantity of bourbon over low heat and fold that into the brown butter mixture in order to intensify the bourbon flavor of the base.


bourbon cornflake brittle, uncut

The tricky part was trying to recreate the salty-sweet intensity of the bourbon-infused cornflake clusters without a recipe. Somehow, this one worked perfectly on the first try! The second secret is to bake the cornflakes on low heat for a prolonged period, which creates a sort of cornflake brittle. The honey, maple, bourbon, and butter glaze is addictive, and I found myself snacking on the clusters in the 48 hours between when I made them and when I actually assembled the ice cream. I used Frosted Flakes, but any type of pure corn flake will suffice.

When the churning was complete, I was overwhelmed by my guests’ reviews. “Better than Humphry, “You nailed the cornflakes,” “Well, you’re probably cuter than Humphry too,” “WTF”, and “this is so addictive” were a few of the comments. Despite a heavy meal and full stomachs, almost everyone went back for second and third helpings. Not a drip of this unique ice cream remained when my friends left my home.

It tastes far superior when served an hour or two after it is churned. I recommend making the custard base and cornflake brittle at least 24 hours in advance, and churn the ice cream right before serving. Freezing the churned ice cream for an hour or two will help ensure a more solid, yet still creamy texture. When storing leftovers – if you have any! – try to use small containers that you can pack to the brim (no air gap), which will slow the growth of ice crystals.

#CuterthanHumphry Bourbon Cornflake Ice Cream

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Yield – One Quart

Bourbon cornflake brittle

  • 1/4 cup honey (orange blossom honey recommended)
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. Salted butter
  • 3 Tbsp. Bourbon whisky
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 1/2 cups stale corn flakes

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except for the corn flakes. If any ingredients remain solid, microwave the mixture on LOW power for 15-30 seconds. Whisk until smooth. Fold in cornflakes.

Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Spread cornflake mixture in a thin layer across the pan. Bake for 90 minutes.

While baking, make the ice cream custard base. Cool the cornflake. Clusters completely before serving.

When baking is complete, remove the cornflakes from the oven. Cool. The cornflakes may be pliable or soft in texture when warm, but as they cool, they should harden. When cool, break the cornflakes into granola-sized clusters. Store in an airtight container until ready to churn and add them to the ice cream.

Ice cream base

  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 c. Brown sugar
  • 1 c. Plus 4 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 c. Bourbon whisky
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1/3 tsp. Sea salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 6 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1/2 c. Granulated sugar

In a medium pot or saucepan over medium-low heat (just under medium), melt the butter. Allow the butter to brown, stirring/whisking infrequently until the bitter is uniformly light brown in color.

 It may appear grainy when left alone – that’s not a problem. It should have a toffee-like, caramelized flavor when it reaches this stage.

As the butter continues to bubble and darken, add a few tablespoons (about 2) of whipping cream and stir. Next, whisk in the brown sugar to form a paste; when it becomes too granular, add the remaining 2 tbsp. of cream (setting aside one cup). Add the bourbon, vanilla, and salt. Stir to incorporate and allow to bubble/boil for about 5 minutes. The liquid’s volume should reduce slightly.

Whisk in the milk and remaining cup of whipping cream. Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, separate eggs and place the yolks in a small mixing bowl. Beat with a wire whisk (small bubbles should appear). Gradually add the granulated (white) sugar and beat until sugar is more or less dissolved.

When the milk mixture has reached a boil, allow it to boil for 2-4 minutes; it should begin to expand or become frothy. Remove from heat. Pour about 1 cup of the milk mixture into the eggs, whisking in gradually to temper the eggs. Add in another cup of the milk mixture to the eggs, whisking continuously. Pour the resulting milk-egg mixture into the pot with the remaining milk and whisk in to incorporate fully.

Return the pot to heat. Whisking occasionally, bring to a slight boil; remove the pot immediately from the heat to prevent curdling. The custard should now be thick enough to coat a mixing spoon.

Cool the mixture for about 15 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until thoroughly chilled. Whisk periodically if possible. You can shortcut the chilling by placing in the freezer for about 30 minutes, but stir/whisk every 5 minutes to prevent a skin from forming and the custard from freezing to the metal.

Outfit your ice cream maker and pour in the custard. Follow instructions for your appliance. About 5-10 minutes from completion of churning, add in the cornflake brittle directly to the mixture.

Transfer to airtight containers and freeze.

Eat for breakfast at your own risk!

Healthy Diplomat: Vegan avocado basil pesto brightens any savory dish

Even if you’re not vegan, this pesto is bursting with summer freshness. Rich, yet light, this savory condiment is perfect for everything from pasta to meat and vegetables.
When one of my friends conjured up a version of this pesto to get rid of some ripe avocado, I was curious how it was going to turn out. Turn out it did. Sampling it straight from the jar, I knew I would recreate it myself at some point. That point came when I joined another friend’s BeachBody challenge group. Needing “clean” recipes and having bought a giant spaghetti squash, now was the time for some dairy-free pesto.


Basil, the defining component of traditional Genovese (Genoan) or Ligurian pesto

I’m a huge fan of traditional Genoese pesto. I first made it back in college with my first food processor. For those who haven’t made it, it’s extremely easy. It’s also calorie dense. A typical pesto usually involves about 2 cups fresh basil, 4 cloves raw garlic (can we say garlic breath?), 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup olive oil, and 1/4 to 1/2 cup toasted pignoli (pine nuts). That’s a lot of fat – even if most is fairly healthy.

My goal in creating this avocado pesto was to mimic the richness of a traditional pesto but with less oil and calories. I’ll remind everyone up front that this pesto still is not a low calorie food, thanks to the avocado, but fats are healthy and we get a little bit of crunch and fiber from almonds too!

The beauty of a pesto is you can tweak it to fit your own preferences. One clove of garlic was enough for the pesto to stand up to meat or roast veggies (or even as a dip – great with plantain chips or sugar snap peas as a snack!), but you may wish to add more garlic if you plan to make this a standalone accompaniment to pasta or a pasta substitute. 

I paired it with my Romanesca meat sauce over spaghetti squash for a bit of yin-yang (meat/veggie). You’ll also want to add the lemon juice gradually; its acidity is needed to preserve the fresh green color of the avocado, but too much and you’ll overpower the basil. Unless, of course, you’re going for basil guacamole!

Vegan Avocado-Basil Pesto

  • 1/4 cup roasted or toasted plain almonds
  • 1-2 cloves raw garlic
  • 2 cups fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 small, ripe Haas avocado (or 1/3 to 1/2 large)
  • 2-4 Tbsp extra Virgin olive oil (preferably cold-pressed)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon)
  • Sea salt to taste

In a food processor, chop almonds until ground. Add the garlic, basil, and avocado. Pulse to mix the ingredients. Slowly add in olive oil; puree the mixture on a high speed setting, adding more olive oil if needed. Add in lemon juice and salt to taste. Blend until smooth.

The pesto is ready to serve immediately, but it also can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week.

The Healthy Diplomat’s Mediterranean-inspired turkey burgers

The all-American hamburger gets the CD international treatment with infusion of flavors that span the northern and eastern Mediterranean. An oh so easy classic you might just turn into a weeknight menu staple!

America has a love affair with the poorly named hamburger. Though the name refers to its attributed origin – immigrants to the US cooking steak in the style of Hamburg, Germany, it always threw me off as a child, thinking it was made from ham. And clearly, the rest of the world has embraced the burger concept as a signature American export – one that has moved well beyond fast food, judging by the explosion of gourmet burger joints throughout the Americas. I’ve seen fancy pants burger houses in places as far flung as Peru, Oman, Austria, Lithuania, and Hong Kong. The meat patty (or non-meat) on a bun concept resonates with an audience receptive to culinary globalization.

Ok, enough waxing philosophical. Let’s get down to business. You just want to know about THIS burger, right?? Ok, ok you all know I like to get a little too much into the “diplomat” before delving into the culinary.

So I recently joined an old friend’s seven day clean eating challenge, complete with set meal plan. When she mentioned that she was looking to me to put my own spin on the recipes, I tried to step up to the challenge.

When it came time for the turkey burger, I wasn’t the most confident. Homemade burgers have never interested me, as I’d prefer even a pseudo-beef cheeseburger from McDonalds over DIY. But I decided to incorporate a few of my go-to healthy ingredients to spruce up an otherwise bland patty.

A few key points to ensure your burger is a success. First, do NOT use the leanest ground turkey; a bit of fat is necessary to ensure a moist, juicy burger. You can substitute ground beef, bison, chicken, or lamb if you prefer. 

Incorporating fresh ingredients and spices inside the patty makes every bite addictive

Third, mixing/massaging veggies and spices directly into the meat produces a delicious patty that needs no bun or sauce; however, Greek tzatziki only enhances the burger’s Mediterranean flavor . Try making it yourself with my recipe here; omit the feta cheese if you’re trying to keep it “clean.” 

I serve it directly over salad, but it’s perfection with a multigrain bun. Finally, this recipe uses portions for a single serving; simply multiply to make as many as you need. Definitely make and eat them as soon as cooked. They are so easy to make, minimal prep is needed!

Mediterranean inspired turkey burgers

Difficulty: Easy

Servings: One

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) ground turkey
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped, fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Red onion, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. Sun-dried tomatoes, julienned and chopped
  • 1-1/2 tsp. zata’ar spice blend
  • Pinch of sea salt and black pepper to taste

In a small bowl, massage the spice blend, salt and pepper blend throughout the meat. Next, add in the fresh vegetables and basil and massage to incorporate all evenly. Roll the mixture into a ball; press onto a firm surface (cutting board or wax paper atop counter) with hand to flatten to about 1/2 inch thick patties.

Grill or pan fry (with a slight amount of olive oil or cooking spray in a nonstick pan, or, preferably a cast iron skillet) for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until slightly brown and cooked through (poultry should have lost all pink color; beef/bison or lamb may be cooked for less time on higher heat to produce a pink center). Serve over salad, lettuce wrap, or bun, topped with 1-2 Tbsp. tzatziki sauce.

Scottish brown sugar shortbread: Turning disaster into delicious

Crumbly, buttery shortbread. Three key ingredients. Baking doesn’t get much more simple – or crowd-pleasing. Whole wheat flour, the subtle caramel of brown sugar, and hints of vanilla and almond make it special. It also has the distinction of surviving a kitchen disaster, and thus I am certain that it is resilient enough so that all of you can make it in your own kitchens!

Shortbread is one of the most mesmerizingly simple cookies.   With its origins in the British Isles, it is no surprise that technique and texture are critical to something traditionally made from only three ingredients:  flour, butter, and sugar.  That’s it.  No wonder it has withstood the test of time and globalization. Like making a pie crust or pastry dough, kneading in cold butter is the trick to achieving that perfectly flaky, yet soft cookie.

I don’t know about all of you, but I lack the patience and precision to make it authentically perfect.  I certainly didn’t want to mess with a good thing, but I made a few minor tweaks so that you can easily reproduce it in your own kitchen. I used whole wheat pastry flour to add at least a hint of nutrition and less refined carbs, and I added vanilla and almond extracts.  I believe that it is a baking sin to leave out vanilla in most sweet baked goods.  I also did not go through the precarious steps of folding in the cold butter to the flour, because I didn’t think you would want to deal with that step, either.  Just don’t do what I did the first time I attempted it.

If you ever want to feel less clumsy in the kitchen, read this story.  I know I risk completely destroying any culinary credibility I had with you by telling it so publicly, but I also am willing to humiliate myself because kitchen disasters happen to all but the most OCD of us! It is a lesson that disasters happen, but hopefully the recipe is half as resilient as the people who first created it long ago.

So anyway, I made the dough with the below recipe, rolled it out, pressed it into the pan evenly, strategically pricked it with a fork, and set it in the oven.  Halfway through baking, it appeared to be on track for success. I removed the pan about 25 minutes into baking in order to sprinkle course (caster for you in the UK) sugar atop it to add a crunch and give it a hint of a crust. I sifted the sugar, but some of the pan was unevenly covered with it.  So I moved the hot pan to the sink to shake loose any excess sugar, slightly inverting it. Ok at this point, you’re reading this wondering, what was she thinking?

Hubris. Excessive pride in my baking ability – hello, I’ve been baking since I was eight.  But one aspect of shortbread I wasn’t used to was its high butter content.

So as I continued to invert the pan with only my hand to protect it,  the dough started to slide out of the pan and into the sink, burning my hand in the process.  I did not accept defeat.  I salvaged what didn’t slide into the sink by spreading it – much more thinly – across the pan by hand (did I mention my hand already was burnt?). I sprinkled sugar back on top, leaving it alone this time before placing it back in the oven.  Twenty minutes later, it was done.  And surprisingly, it worked. It was delicious. It got eaten (shh, don’t tell my colleagues!) with rave reviews.

So the real moral of this story is just because it tastes perfect doesn’t mean it is. So suspect the chef!  I kid.

What I mean to say is that accidents happen. You might not execute a recipe the way your cooking show host did on television (or You Tube. Whatever!) or the way it looks in those Pinterest photos. Recover and move on. It will turn out ok. If not, try again!  And in the end, few probably will be able to  tell the difference!

Scottish brown sugar shortbread

  • 4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 cups (1 lb.) salted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract (Optional)
  • Pinch of salt.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl, slowly cream butter and sugar by hand or with an electric mixer on its lowest speed setting. Add in vanilla, almond extract. Gradually mix in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until just incorporated – don’t overmix!

Lightly flour a large piece of parchment paper on a flat work surface. Knead the dough by hand, for about 5 minutes. Transfer to an ungreased 8″x8″ (for thick fingers) or 9″x12″ (for thinner cookies) baking pan.  Pat dough evenly; prick by fork throughout the dish to aerate and for decoration. Bake for approximately 45 minutes (one hour for thicker fingers), or until firm and edges are browned. Remove and cool in pan. Cut into narrow rectangular fingers.

Healthy Diplomat: Mediterranean pasta primavera

It is said that necessity is the mother of invention.  A full pantry (thanks to inheriting the contents of a friend’s), a bad storm, and fresh vegetables made for the perfect condition to create something new.  So create I did.  This pasta is a great way to use and enjoy late spring/early summer’s best vegetables. Packed with flavor, fiber, protein, and healthy fats, it’s a hearty yet light one pot meal. Leftovers serve double duty as a pasta salad side dish. Believe me, the citrus, feta, and herbs play well hot or cold.

I grew up thinking that pasta primavera was a vegetable pasta dish. It’s not far off, but ” primavera” just means “spring” in Italian. A good pasta primavera showcases seasonal spring ingredients. While officially it’s no longer spring, spring vegetables are in high peak in many areas, so take advantage of what you have on hand.

I used what I happened to have in my kitchen, but you could easily use other vegetables.  Adding 1/4 cup of diced Kalamata olives, substituting broccoli for the asparagus, or onions for the peas are other suggestions.  Omit the meat to keep it vegetarian, or eliminate the cheese to keep it dairy free.

I recommend using shaped pastas instead of noodles, as a small amount goes a long way and retains flavor. In this recipe, each cooked serving contains less than 100 calories (a half serving) of pasta. I used quinoa and brown rice fusilli, which happened to be gluten free and has a higher protein and fiber content than white semolina pasta. You won’t miss the starch with the bold flavors, colors, and textures of the vegetables, meat, and herbs.


Mediterranean pantry pasta primavera

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

  • 1 cup uncooked pasta (fusilli, rotini, cavatappi, catoesavatelli, penne, or orecchiette)
  • 1 lb. fresh asparagus
  • 1 large red bell pepper (capsicum
  • 1/2 cup sugar snap peas or snow peas
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup pistachio nutmeats
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup cooked chicken breast, shredded or diced
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tsp. oregano, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of salt

Roast the asparagus:  Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and trim asparagus.  Transfer to roasting pan (or 13X9X2″ baking dish) and toss with juice of 1/2 lemon and 1 tbsp. olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 20 minutes or until asparagus is tender and stalks are bright green (heads slightly caramelized). Dice when complete.

While the asparagus roasts, bring 2-3 cups water to a boil in a medium pot.  Add pasta and cook al dente according to package directions. Drain, rinse, and return to pot; reduce heat to a simmer/low heat. Add remaining olive oil, lemon juice, and crushed garlic.

Meanwhile, dice the red bell pepper and pea pods. In a small skillet, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat and sauté for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat and set aside.

Add red pepper, snow/snap peas, asparagus, chicken, sundried tomatoes, and pistachios to the pasta.  Toss to combine; add feta cheese, remaining spices, and salt to taste. Warm over low heat/simmer and serve.  Garnish with additional fresh basil leaves and feta if desired.




Impress your friends with truffled red pepper coulis!

Have you ever experienced the smoky sweetness of a roasted red pepper coulis accenting a restaurant entree? Ever wondered what effort goes into producing this deliciousness? Refined restaurant flavors are easier to create in your own kitchen than you might think! This luxurious condiment is easy to make and versatile to use – not to mention compatible with almost any dietary restrictions.

Typically, we think the purpose of sauces are bring life to something like a vegetable – to make it palatable, or at least to add much needed flavor. We don’t often think of using the concentrated flavors of vegetables themselves as a way to make meats, grains, or legumes more palatable! That’s exactly what coulis do. Coulis are sauces made from pureed fruits or vegetables. Their thick, velvety consistencies and intense flavors make them a perfect garnish or compliment to main dishes or desserts.

Smoky, sweet roasted bell peppers, together with a hint of olive oil, black truffles, and fresh garlic are craving-worthy as coulis. Yet this recipe is so easy that I’m almost embarrassed to post it. Four ingredients, an oven, and a food processor or blender are all you need to create kitchen magic. A surprisingly small amount of oil with truffle essence adds so much flavor without empty calories or fat. Without peeling and straining the purée, the recipe can be made in 45 minutes start to finish (only about 10-15 minutes total active prep), so you won’t be a kitchen slave. image

It’s so easy, I’m almost embarrassed to devote an entire post to such a simple recipe on its own. Browse the Interwebs and you’ll see recipes are Blah Blah Blah with red pepper coulis or Bourgeois Dessert with Raspberry Coulis. Not just coulis. Roasted red pepper coulis, however, are too versatile to attach them to only one main dish.

So many uses, so little time…

Meat: It pairs particularly well with poultry and fish, but don’t underestimate it with beef. Vegetarian? It’s great with Portobello or cremoni mushrooms. Or with any of the remaining options…

Grains/legumes: It is equally amazing over a quinoa pilaf, lentils, or pasta (is it me, or did basil pesto meet its perfect foil?)

Vegetables: Add a bit of haute cuisine to asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, or summer squash/zucchini. I’ve used the coulis as a compliment to chicken breast, quinoa pilaf, and sautéed mushrooms (different styles). Each of these dishes earned rave reviews from my guests. Whether you foresee multiple uses or not, double this recipe, and keep some on hand to add a touch of class to your next meal.

Black Truffle Roasted Red Pepper Coulis

  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, crushed, pressed, or minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Black truffle essence olive oil
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. salt (to taste)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice peppers in half; remove stems and seeds. Place halves, skin side up, on a foil-lines baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until skins blister and begin to blacken (check the cut edges to prevent burning after about 20 min). Remove from oven and cool. I prefer to keep the skins intact in order to preserve the caramelized flavor of the blackened skin; if you are a purist, allow the peppers to cool and remove skins They should be fairly easy to peel by hand or with the aid of a paring knife.


Transfer peppers to a food processor or blender. Add garlic, olive oil, and half of the salt. Purée until smooth. Gradually add additional salt to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat in a small saucepan on low heat (simmer). Yield is approximately one cup. Servings vary depending on use (sauce vs. garnish).


Having fun with harissa, Part II: Spicy harissa hummus

Give that tired, mass-produced hummus a run for the money with a hearty homemade hummus with the smoky red pepper and chili kick of North African Harissa. Hummus will never be the same!

After a few weeks in Tunisia, I was inspired to find several ways to use harissa. In my last post, I discussed my re-creation of my spicy egg white breakfast omelet for a quick, healthy, anytime entree with an exotic flair. Today, I hope you’ll embrace harissa even more by making fresh, nutritious hummus from scratch. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but I stand converted!

My aunt and mother first introduced me to hummus when I was a young child, long before hummus and even salsa became mainstream snacks around the world. Unfortunately for me, I hated it then. A decade or two later, I finally acquired a taste for it, so much so that I never again passed on it at home or at my favorite Lebanese restaurants.

Yet pre-Tunisia, I’d never made hummus from scratch myself. I tried the boxed mixes during college a few times, but out of laziness and a lack of a decent food processor, it took a new Cuisinart processor [I am NOT paid to say that!] and a trip to the Middle East to embolden me. I didn’t want to make just hummus; I had two goals – make it truly from scratch with organic, dried garbanzo beans (chickpeas) instead of canned, and to make it unique and spicy with harissa.

You may substitute canned chickpeas for the dried ones of course, which eliminates the need to plan ahead (soaking takes little effort but a lot of time to let them rest, preferably to sprout and release more nutrients, while also making the tough legume more digestible). Using dried chickpeas also requires the addition of water to the food processor. You still may need to add water if you use canned chickpeas, but that amount will be substantially less.


Make this recipe your own by tweaking it to suit your tastes. I love garlic, so I used both raw and roasted cloves for depth of flavor. I find that lemon juice can really overpower hummus, so I used it with caution. Others may like to add more tahini for its distinctively nutty flavor. Slowly add flavorings incrementally so that you hit the flavor sweet spot for your tastes.


Of course, you may substitute cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or Asian chili paste or omit the harissa entirely, but it adds a smoky and definitely spicy kick – unless you find and use a mild version. In that event, it’s a shortcut to roasted red pepper hummus. The hummus universe is limited by only your own creativity and the ingredients you choose to use!


Spicy Harissa Hummus

  • 2 cups cooked, dried chickpeas/Garbanzo beans (see below)
  • 2 cloves raw garlic
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Tahini
  • 1/4 c. Lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 c. filtered water (or more to thin)
  • 3-4 Tbsp. Harissa

Soak 1 cup of dried chickpeas in 4 cups water for at least 24 hours up to 72 hours (once the chickpeas have germinated and begun to sprout). Drain and rinse. Bring about one quart (4 cups) fresh water to a boil; add chickpeas and cook for about 15 minutes or until tender (or several hours in a slow cooker). Drain. The cooked chickpeas should amount to about 2 1/2 cups.

Alternatively, use canned chickpeas (one full 15/16 oz. can); rinse and drain before proceeding. (Omit the salt or add in to taste if using canned chickpeas with added salt.)

In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients except water and harissa. Pulse to incorporate. Gradually, add water to thin to desired consistency. Add harissa (or substitutes) and additional salt to taste if desired.


Serve topped with additional harissa, ground sumac, or pistachios as pictured below.



Hummus without harissa – great either way!