Sweet Potato Lentil Hummus + A Vegan Mezze

December 29, 2017

This is no sad plate of cheese and crackers. This is a bitchin vegan mezze and I loved it so much that I ate just about the whole thing by myself. Can you imagine having this brought out at a party, as a plant-based eater? Or as someone who loves hummus?! I would be SO HAPPY. Yes, I am posting this recipe as a great new year's option, but it's amazing for any type of party/get-together, and just for a night in. I know my boyfriend would be thrilled (I didn't share, hah) and I can definitely see myself making this as a quick weeknight meal, maybe with a salad or some tabbouleh. I've been snacking on the leftovers for the past couple of days for lunch, so it's also great for that! Pack the lentil hummus with some sourdough or crackers, some onions, veggies, and you're good to go. My favourite way to eat it is making a cracker sandwich with the lentil hummus, a peppery orange slice, pickled onions, and parsley. Very good.

A few things about the flexibility of this mezze. Of course it's easy to alter to your tastes, but really, this is an excellent combination and I encourage you to try it as is. If you do change a few things make sure you keep that creamy/crunchy/sweet/spicy/salty balance intact - like subbing another fruit for the orange, but not leaving it out entirely, or switching figs for dates. This is a winter mezze so I chose cold-weather friendly items but didn't at all feel like I was missing something. If you're thinking it looks like a lot of work, think again! The hummus can be made ahead of time, and it's really not much work, and otherwise it's just a bit of slicing. Everything can be prepped ahead of time! With the exception of, perhaps, the carrots, which have a tendency to dry out. In the ingredients list, I'm giving you the amounts that I used to serve two hungry people. Multiply that by however many people you're planning on feeding.

And the sweet potato lentil hummus, oh my god. I've never made a better hummus in my entire life. The garlic is roasted ahead of time with the sweet potato (a good thing to add to your batch cooking list). You don't roast a whole head of garlic, don't worry! Turns out garlic roasts up perfectly well as individual cloves as long as you leave the skin on. Cooked red lentils combined with the sweet potato and mild roasted garlic is just the best, infinitely better than simply using red lentils to replace chickpeas and treating it like normal hummus. I made it yesterday and I have about a quarter cup left because I just can't stop eating it. As a bonus, my oma loves it too, and she's skeptical of most foods that aren't fruit. It's much milder than normal hummus and won't give you garlic breath if you bring it to work.

Have a fantastic end to 2017 and I'll see you in the new year!


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Sweet Potato Lentil Hummus + A Vegan Mezze
Serves 2 - 10*

Sweet Potato Lentil Hummus

1 small sweet potato
3 cloves garlic, skin on
1 1/2 cups cooked red lentils
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of a lemon
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Roast the sweet potato and garlic at 200C / 400F until soft, about 40 minutes for the sweet potato. Cut the sweet potato in half and place it cut-side down on the baking sheet to cook it faster. The garlic will take about 15 minutes - make sure to take it out when it's finished as it will take less time than the sweet potato. Set both aside to cool for at least 10 minutes before blending.

Remove the skin from the roasted vegetables and place them into a food processor along with the lentils, tahini, oil, lemon juice, and seasoning. Blend until completely smooth, about 5 minutes. Add a small splash of water if it's too thick. Taste for seasoning and add more lemon or salt if needed.

To serve, top the hummus with olive oil, za'atar (optional), pomegranate seeds, and parsley.

Vegan Mezze

1 batch Sweet Potato Lentil Hummus
6 crispbread crackers
Several sesame cracker sticks
Pickled red onions (see tip)
A dozen green olives
1 large navel orange, peeled, sliced, and topped with pepper
1/2 of a pomegranate
6 medium carrots, sliced
A handful of dates
A handful of parsley

Serve the hummus in small bowls and arrange with the other elements on a board so that people can serve themselves.

Tips:
• If you can roast the sweet potato and garlic ahead of time, that's ideal. The garlic will be done when it's turned golden, the clove inside the skin is soft, and the skin feels empty when pressed.
• Overcook the lentils, to make them as soft as possible, so that the hummus is very smooth.
• To make the pickled onions, slice a red onion very thinly and place it into a jar with a pinch of salt and the juice of a lemon.

Notes:
1. If you're making this for a party alongside other dishes, the two hummuses should do it for up to 10 people, but you'll need to add more crackers, veggies, and everything else.

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