This recipe for roasted eggplant hummus with za’atar, a middle eastern spice mix, is a delicious spin on everyone’s favorite dip. The golden, richly flavored roasted eggplant blends perfectly with the sumac and oregano in the za’atar, and a dollop of yogurt adds creaminess. Serve with pita or any chunky flatbread or crudites. A vegan, soy-free, nut-free and gluten-free recipe.
Everyone has a favorite hummus recipe, and today, I want to share mine with you.
I make hummus several times each week, always mixing it up with beans and vegetables and seasonings I have on hand. They are all delicious, but I am happiest when I make this, my Roasted Eggplant Hummus with Za’atar.
I have made this recipe so many times now, I can make it blindfolded, although probably not a great idea, that. It does take a little more work than making your plain old hummus in that you have to roast the eggplants, but all I do is cut a large eggplant in half, put it cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet, and pop it in my toaster oven for 30 minutes at 450 degrees. The eggplant roasts up all lovely and golden, and I can scoop out the creamy flesh and pop it into the blender with the other ingredients. In seconds, I am all set to tuck into a silky, delicious, flavorful hummus.
Although I used the large, bulbous globe eggplant in this recipe, you can use any kind. In fact, I prefer making it with the slender, thin-skinned Japanese or Chinese eggplants. When I use those, I roast them up in the toaster too, checking after 20 minutes to see if they are done, and then toss them into the blender, skin and all.
I don’t add any olive oil to this recipe, because, frankly, it doesn’t need it. While there’s no denying olive oil adds great flavor to hummus, there’s already so much going here flavor-wise with the eggplant and the za’atar, it’d be a bit like gilding the lily. Plus, bonus, you save on the fat calories.
I make a meal of this Roasted Eggplant Hummus sometimes, when I am in the mood for some body-temple food. It’s got beans and veggies, and with whole-wheat pita, it makes a filling, nutritious meal.
To add some extra creaminess to this hummus, I add another ingredient that goes fabulously with all things middle eastern, and especially with eggplant and za’atar: yogurt. Use the non-dairy kind, of course. I use cultured cashew yogurt that I make myself. If you want to keep this nut-free, use coconut or soy yogurt. You can also just skip it and still have an amazing hummus to tuck into.
- 2 15-oz cans (about 2 cups cooked) chickpeas
- 1 large globe eggplant or 4 Chinese or Japanese eggplants, cut lengthwise into halves
- 2 tsp za'atar spice mix (you can also substitute with a mix of sumac and oregano, or just use oregano)
- 2 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 2 tbsp vegan yogurt
- 1 tsp cayenne or paprika
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
- Juice of two limes
- Salt to taste
Preheat the toaster oven or a regular oven to 450 degrees F. Place the eggplants, cut side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake 20-30 minutes. The globe eggplant will need all 30 minutes but if using Chinese or Japanese eggplants, start checking after 15-20 minutes. The flesh should be completely cooked and a fork pierced through the center should go in without resistance.
Once the eggplants are cool enough to handle, scoop out the creamy flesh and toss into the blender with all remaining ingredients. If using Chinese or Japanese eggplants, you can add the skin as well for an even smokier flavor.
Blend until very smooth. This will work better in a high-powered blender. I like my hummus really smooth, but if you like it with more texture, you could do this in a food processor as well. If the blender blades refuse to move, add a touch of water or the chickpea brine.
To serve, scrape the hummus into a bowl, scatter on some za'atar and paprika, yogurt, or stir in some whole chickpeas for more texture. Serve with pita or another flatbread.