Saturday, December 10, 2016

Heidi Swanson's Red Lentil Hummus

I didn't directly follow this week's I Heart Cooking Club theme, Expand Your Pantry, where we were to make a Heidi Swanson dish with new ingredients or ingredients we don't cook with often. I use red lentils and the other ingredients in the recipe pretty frequently, but what is new to me is making hummus out of lentils. Since we are nearing the holidays, I am always looking for simple and tasty dishes for parties and potlucks and Heidi's Red Lentil Hummus seemed like a good match.

Heidi says, "This hummus is smooth as buttercream, in part because red lentils are used in place of the more typical chickpeas. ... Red lentils lose much of their blush in the cooking process, but the resulting hummus is still a nice sight topped with chives and sesame."

Red Lentil Hummus
Recipe by Heidi Swanson, Near & Far Cookbook
(Makes About 3 Cups)

2 1/2 cups cooked red lentils (see Note)
2 medium cloves garlic (I used 4 cloves)
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used 4 Tbsp)
(I added 1/2 tsp ground cumin and ground paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper)
2/3 cup tahini
3/4 tsp fine-grain sea salt
2 to 3 Tbsp whey, kefir, or warm water
2 tsp black sesame seeds
extra-virgin olive oil, toasted sesame oil, minced chives to serve

Start by adding the cooked lentils and garlic to a food processor and pulsing for at least a minute, scraping the paste from the corners once or twice along the way.

Add the lemon juice, tahini, and sea salt. Blend again, another minute or so. Don’t skimp on the blending time, but stop if the beans form a doughy ball inside the processor. At this point start adding the whey a splash at a time. Blend, blend, blend, until the hummus is smooth and light, aerated and creamy.

Taste, and adjust to your liking—adding more lemon juice or salt, if needed. Serve topped with the black sesame seeds, and preferably, a good amount olive oil, a few drops of toasted sesame oil and lots of chives. Serve with veggies, crackers, bread or chips.

Note: Rinse 1 1/2 cups dried red lentils well and place in a saucepan with 1 3/4 cups of water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender, roughly 15 minutes.

Notes/Results: The texture of this hummus is definitely ultra-creamy which I liked a lot. It didn't have quite as much flavor as my usual hummus and so I went back and added a some cumin, paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper and pumped up the amount of lemon juice. With those changes, it had the flavor I was looking for. A nice change to add to my humus repertoire and fun to try something new. With my flavor changes, I would happily make it again. 

This recipe is linked up at I Heart Cooking Clubs for this week's Expand Your Pantry theme. You can see how everyone expanded their pantries bu checking out the picture links on the post.


  1. Oh, I'd really like this. It didn't have the slightly floury mouthfeel that whizzed up lentils have sometimes? I can see that it would benefit from some extra spices. I will try and make this soon. I've never heard of Heidi Swanson- I'll have to see who she is.

  2. There are red lentils in my pantry but they were going to be part of an Indian meal plan....hmmmmm. The call of hummus is's one of my favorite snacking foods. As always, you present a lovely dish and your photos make me want to lick the screen!!

  3. Your hummus looks lovely. I like the creamy part, sometimes regular hummus is a bit gritty.

  4. Oh, Deb! The creaminess of this hummus is winning me over - it looks addictive. Interesting to know that it needed some extra spices. I suppose lentils are a bit more bland than beans. Glad to know the extra dash of this and that made it delicious! Will remember that if and when I get around to making it.

  5. Lovely hummus! I have not made any in ages. And this looks delicious, making me crave for hummus! The addition of your spices sounds good.

  6. What a delicious idea making hummus with lentils! One thing for me to try.

  7. I love the sound of that - had thought it would be red but it does look really creamy and that is what I love about hummus.

  8. I am a huge fan of lentils. Your dish looks creamy and appealing.


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