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5.1.17

Warm Ciabatta Toasts with Lemony Chickpea Hummus and Sautéed Veggies

Traditionally, hummus is served slightly warm, so it’s not a stretch to think of it as a delicious toast topping. I like my Lemony Chickpea Hummus on airy, chewy ciabatta – my favorite bread – with sautéed veggies and a garnish or two to round things out. One of my favorite topping combos is sautéed spinach, shallots, and brown-butter pine nuts, but you can create your own favorite combo (see ideas pictured at left) for a compact and satisfying supper. Double or triple the recipe as you like.

Randi Baird

Makes 2 toasts

  • 2 slices of ciabatta (¾ to 1 inch thick and 6 to 7 inches long, cut at a sharp angle)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • Kosher salt or sea salt
  • ⅓ to ½ cup Lemony Chickpea Hummus (below)
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
  • 1 cup veggies, very thinly sliced (choose one or two of the following: kale or collards, brussels sprouts, broccoli raab (tender tops only), broccoli or cauliflower, carrots, peppers, shallots, onions, mushrooms, baby spinach or chard leaves, or whole shishito peppers
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts or sliced almonds  
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated lemon or lime zest (optional)
  • Pea shoots, fresh Italian parsley leaves, or baby greens (optional)

1. Move an oven rack to the top position, 4 to 5 inches from the broiler element, and preheat the oven broiler to high. Brush the ciabatta slices generously with oil on both sides and sprinkle with salt. Arrange on a baking sheet. Broil until the tops are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the slices over and toast the other side until golden, 1 to 2 minutes more. (Alternatively, follow instructions for grilling bread, in the article Toast With the Most.)

2. If the hummus is chilled, gently warm it: You can warm it on the stovetop in a small covered saucepan over very low heat, uncovering frequently to stir. Or you can microwave it on high for a few seconds.

3. In a small nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of oil (or 1 teaspoon of oil and 1 teaspoon of butter, if desired) over medium heat. Add the veggies and a pinch of salt and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, tossing frequently, until the veggies are limp and browned
around the edges, 2 to 6 minutes, depending on the type(s) of vegetable. (Thinly sliced hearty greens need only 1 or 2 minutes to glisten and wilt.) Remove the pan from the heat.

4. If you like, you can use the skillet to make “brown-butter nuts” at this point: Transfer the
veggies to a plate, then heat 2 teaspoons of unsalted butter in the skillet over medium-low heat. Add the pine nuts or sliced almonds and cook until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

5. Spread 3 to 4 tablespoons of hummus on each piece of toast. Top with the sautéed veggies and spoon the brown-butter nuts over (if using). Scatter the lemon or lime zest (if using) over all, and garnish lightly with the pea shoots, parsley, or baby greens (if using). Serve right away.

Lemony Chickpea Hummus

Hummus has a lovely texture and flavor when made from freshly cooked chickpeas, but using canned chickpeas is a fine substitute. If you do cook the chickpeas yourself, save a little of the cooking water to make the hummus. I find that a little extra water added at the end of puréeing gives hummus a particularly light and fluffy texture.

Makes 2¼ cups

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas or canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup tahini (see note)
  • ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons chickpea cooking liquid or warm water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1½ teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Cayenne
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, coarsely chopped (optional)

1. Put the chickpeas, tahini, ⅓ cup of lemon juice, ¼ cup of the cooking liquid or water,
and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil into the bowl of a food processor and process until
well combined. (It will still be a little rough.)

2. Scrape down the sides of the food processor and add the garlic, salt, cumin, and a small pinch of cayenne and process again until smooth. Taste for lemon and salt, and add more if needed. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of cooking liquid and process until light and fluffy. (Add a little more liquid or water if needed.)

3. To serve, scrape the hummus into a bowl, sprinkle with a pinch of cayenne, and drizzle with olive oil (about 1 to 2 tablespoons). Garnish with cilantro if desired. If making hummus ahead for toast or other use, scrape the hummus into a refrigerator container and drizzle with olive oil to cover. Cover and keep for up to 1 week in the fridge.

Note: If you are opening up a new can of tahini and the solids are very hard to mix with the liquid, scrape everything out into a food processor or blender and process until well combined and smooth.

This recipe was originally published with the article, Toast With the Most.