Last Updated on June 3, 2023
Whether you’re vegan or not, hummus is something that everyone loves! My Hummus with Fresh Veggies & Toasted Walnuts is intended to be a healthy but satisfying main dish (or snack if you will.) It’s topped with fresh raw veggies with aromatic toasted walnuts! You can also use your own recipe of hummus or your favorite store-bought hummus to make this.
In 2021, there’s no explanation needed for what hummus is especially from an Asian home cook like me. Everyone loves it and knows what it is! The truth is that, I don’t really care for chickpeas unless it’s prepared and cooked certain ways. I have only one chickpea recipe with fresh orange and fennel and pretty much that’s it. Although I don’t cook often with chickpeas for the simple lack of love towards them, our chickpea recipe with fresh fennel and orange is still mighty tasty and highly addictive.
I mainly eat them in the form of hummus. While I don’t have my own recipe, I do stick to the one I adapted slightly from Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi’s Basic Hummus that I found on Food 52. According to the page, it seems that their recipe is also a slightly adapted version from the original one on the cookbook, Jerusalem (Ten Speed Press, 2013.)
I tweaked a little bit to my liking and it’s a bit more cost effective. The original one calls for 1 cup plus 2 tbsp tahini. I’ve made it multiple times with that amount of tahini as stated but I realized that I can’t keep up with the cost of using over 1 cup of organic tahini. The jar of organic tahini that I love costs about $10 for a 1 pound (454g.) I’m not gonna lie, it’s very rich and delicious when you use that much but I use a little less, 3/4 cup to be exact. It tastes slightly less rich but almost not noticeable. I’ve also tried 1/2 cup and this one comes out noticeably different in taste but still not bad.
If you never tried making the original recipe on Food 52, I highly recommend giving a try. It’s simple, clean, smooth and super tasty!
How I Eat (Use) Hummus
Here is what I do with hummus (including the obvious ways):
- Make a dip
- Smear on a wrap
- Use as a salad dressing
- Use as pasta sauce
- Eat as a meal with variety of toppings
That’s pretty much all I do but I’ve seen people making hummus soup…hmmm. Personally, I wouldn’t be interested in making one but I can clearly see that people are so in love with hummus and/or chickpeas in general. Even at the grocery store, I always go to the bulk section and see that chickpeas are always low on supply.
When I make my hummus, I always use dried chickpeas. Never from a can. It’s much cheaper to soak, prepare, and cook on your own. Also, I just don’t like the liquid from canned beans of any kind. I know that I can rinse it out and call it a day but for me, it’s makes sense to spend a little extra time to prepare my own food from scratch. It always tastes better that way and I just love the slow cooking process.
The Fresh Veggie & Toasted Walnut Topping
After making this recipe, I realized that what I made here as a topping tastes similar to tabouli. It has fresh veggies like tomatoes, cucumber, onion and parsley. It has a good level of acidity from fresh lemon. What I like about this topping is the walnuts. I use raw unsalted ones and toast in a pan. Any nuts in general, I like buying raw and unsalted then toasting before using them for a dish. There are some exceptions like making nut cheese that I do use them as raw but in general, it’s good to toast right before eating to bring out some aroma especially from walnuts.
Here is the list of ingredients for the delicious healthy hummus meal!
- Raw Unsalted Walnuts
- English Cucumber
- Roma tomatoes
- Red Onion
- Minced Parsley
- Lemon Zest
- Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Smoked Paprika Powder
Optionally, if you are making my slightly adapted hummus recipe (the original one can be found food 52) you will need:
- Dried Chickpeas
- Baking Soda
- Water (for cooking chickpeas)
- Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
- Cold Water
The Tips and Recipe Notes
Choice of Hummus
As previously mentioned, you can make this recipe with any hummus of your choice! Your can make your own, use your favorite recipe, or buy your favorite store-bought ones.
By the way, the Ottolenghi & Tamimi’s recipe on Food 52 calls for baking soda which is supposed to remove the skin of chickpeas easily. Since the skin peels off easier compared to not using baking soda, I noticed the chickpeas cooks a lot faster as well. Know that the chickpeas will be mushy and that’s normal. But because of that, not only do they cook faster but also they will make very creamy & smooth texture once puréed. Be careful not to overcook them as they get too mushy and start breaking apart in the cooking water. Just keep your eye on them if you do this process for the first time. When I make it, it typically takes about 25-30 minutes until they’re done.
Make sure to toast the walnuts! There’s nothing wrong with eating raw walnuts however, we need that toasted aroma factor for the dish! It’s so easy to do. First, place the raw unsalted walnuts in a pan. Cook over medium high or medium heat. It should take about 5-7 minutes for them to start browning and releasing the irresistible aroma. Just make sure that you keep your eye on them so you don’t burn!
I find English cucumber to be more versatile for most of my cooking. The other kind (I don’t know what the proper name would be) has very tough skin and more seeds that I have to remove. In my opinion, English cucumber tastes better compared to the other ones.
The reason for using Roma tomatoes is for the sweetness and mainly for the texture. I don’t like my salad (or topping like this recipe) ending up wet and soggy. The flesh of Roma tomatoes is meatier and it has less juice than other kinds. I also remove the core and seeds to really ensure the desired consistency that I’m looking for.
Fresh Veggie & Toasted Walnut Topping
Check out other salad meal recipes that you may enjoy!
Hummus with Fresh Veggies & Toasted Walnuts
Hummus (use 3/4 cup hummus for the recipe) *
- 1 1/4 cups dried chickpeas
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 6 cups water (for cooking chickpeas)
- 3/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 3/4 to 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup cold water
Hummus with Fresh Veggies & Toasted Walnuts (start here if you don’t use the hummus recipe above) *
- 1 oz raw unsalted walnuts (1/4 cup)
- 3 oz English cucumber diced small (1/2 cup diced)
- 2 pcs (6 oz) Roma tomatoes removed the core and diced small (3/4 cup diced)
- 1 oz minced red onion (1/4 cup minced)
- 0.5 oz minced parsley (1/3 cup minced)
- 1 tbsp lemon zest (zest from 1 lemon)
- 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
- 3/4 cup hummus (see the notes. make your own or store-bought) *
- 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus more for serving
- A pinch of smoked paprika powder
- Place dried chickpeas in a large bowl. Cover them with plenty of water (2.5-3 times the volume) and soak overnight.
- After soaking, drain the chickpeas. Heat up a medium pot over medium high heat. Transfer the drained chickpeas and add baking soda. Keep stirring for a few minutes. Add water and bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium low. Keep simmering for 25-30 minutes. Skim off the scums and skins on the surface. Once they are soft enough (a bit mushy) but not completely broken down, use a colander to drain the chickpeas. Let it cool down for 20-30 minutes or so. You can also purée right away without waiting to cool down. I prefer to wait a bit so I can avoid putting hot hummus to the fridge later.
- Once the chickpeas are not too hot, start pureeing. In a food processor, combine cooked chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Pulse until finely chopped then leave the processor running and slowly start adding water until it becomes smooth and well incorporated. Alternatively, purée the chickpeas first until smooth and creamy, then start adding the rest of the ingredients as the processor is running. Transfer to a container and let it cool down in the fridge for 30 minutes or longer.
- Meanwhile, prepare the Veggie & Walnut topping. Place raw walnuts in a pan. Toast over medium to medium high heat for 5-7 minutes until slightly dark brown and aromatic. Remove from the heat and let it cool down for a few minutes. Chop them roughly.
- In a prep bowl, combine toasted walnuts, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Toss lightly until well combined.
- To serve, place the hummus first then top with the veggie & walnuts mixture as much as you like. Drizzle more extra virgin oil on top and sprinkle a pinch of smoked paprika powder.
- My hummus recipe is adapted slightly from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Basic Hummus recipe on Food 52.
- When using your own recipe of hummus or store-bought hummus, refer only the ingredients for “Hummus with Fresh Veggies & Toasted Walnuts (start here if you don’t use the hummus recipe above)” and skip to Step 4.
- I used 3/4 cup hummus to make a nice size meal. You can adjust the amount to your preference.
- Both hummus (if using this recipe) and the fresh veggie & walnut topping, there should be plenty (enough for 4 servings or more.) Store leftovers in airtight container and keep in the fridge. Consume within 2-3 days.
- Serve as is for a healthy meal or snacking. It’s also delicious with toasted pita bread or crackers.