Waste not, want not has never been more important than today. Between the economy and general state of the planet, I view each meal as a gift to be savored and enjoyed. That being said, I sometimes go overboard at the farmer’s market this time of year. It’s hard to look at the bounty of fruits and vegetables and not get carried away. Last week I bought some zucchini that I’d planned to use in a frittata. They sat in the vegetable crisper for a few days. Fearful they’d go to waste, I sliced them and roasted with some olive oil, salt and pepper, intending to play around with some roasted zucchini muffin recipes.
A few days after that, the guilt became overwhelming. Between the normal breakfast, lunch and dinner routines, mountains of work, and the two kidlets, I never had the time to make those muffins. Then I found inspiration yesterday in Mark Bittman's column in the New York Times. He mentioned a friend of his purees whatever leftover side veggies he has on hand to make a dip.
It happened to be lunchtime and I'd been staring at this can of chick peas I took out to make hummus. And so, my recipe for Zucchini Parmesan Hummus was born, giving that roasted squash a tasty new lease on life. It was the perfect lunch with some slices of toasted baguette, and I know it’ll also make an elegant appetizer at my next dinner party.
A few pantry notes before we cut to the chase. Soaking and cooking chick peas fresh is wonderful but how many of us really have the time (remember, I said I have two kids, right?). There are many good-quality canned options out there. One of my favorites is from a local store called Sahadi's. Unlike other brands which can be mushy and unappealing, the beans are "al dente" and retain their shape, almost like making them yourself.
Let's also talk olive oil. Two store brand favorites are from Trader Joe's. There's a California reserve, which they were out of stock this week. My back up fave is the Sicilian Selezione, pictured below. I also keep, Lucini on hand for those special occassions, like garnishing this hummus with a swirl on top. (A big thanks to Lucini for providing a sample of their Fig & walnut Savory Balsamic Artisan Vinaigrette in the Food Fete media bags—it was divine). This weekend I'm buying more zucchini and even they sit in the fridge for a few days, at least I'll have a quick way to shed the guilt and yummy way to use 'em up.
Zucchini Parmesan Hummus
Makes about 2 cups
1 cup chick peas, drained & rinsed
1 cup roasted or grilled zucchini
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Add the chick peas, zucchini, lemon juice, cheese, salt and pepper to the food processor bowl attachment on your Cusinart Stand Mixer. Process until mixture forms a chunky paste, about 45 seconds. Slowly drizzle in oil and continue processing until hummus becomes smooth and creamy, one to two more minutes. Serve with cut up vegetables, crackers, pita or slices of baguette.
I love the idea of the roasted zucchini in this! So smart.
Posted by: maggie | 07/09/2009 at 11:00 AM
What a great idea. I bet the roasted zucchini gives this real depth of flavor. I'm going to give this a try!
Posted by: Heather Lalley | 07/09/2009 at 11:03 AM
I'm excited to make this! I think I will make it tomorrow afternoon when my parents are coming over... need to pick up a lemon at the store.
Posted by: Jen Schall @ My Kitchen Addiction | 07/09/2009 at 11:03 AM
What a great idea! Have lots of zucchini from CSA right now. This would be great for snack at work.
Posted by: Diana | 07/09/2009 at 11:05 AM
Oooh, what a great idea! It looks so good!
Posted by: Elle | 07/09/2009 at 11:07 AM
I was thinking of serving a hummus tomorrow night and this one is going to be it. Thanks!
Posted by: kimberly/tippytoes | 07/09/2009 at 06:20 PM
So glad you're all digging this recipe!
Posted by: Jennifer | 07/09/2009 at 06:26 PM
I just put some zucchini in the oven. I'll be having this recipe for lunch!
Posted by: Selfish Mom | 07/10/2009 at 06:45 AM
Had to come back and leave another comment to let you know that this was FANTASTIC! I had some leftover garlic basil olive oil from a dish I made earlier in the week, so I used that to roast the zucchini and in place of regular oil in the recipe. So tasty!
Posted by: Jen Schall @ My Kitchen Addiction | 07/10/2009 at 07:04 PM