June 15, 2011

Grilled Veggie Hummus Tarts

In May I took part in my church's second annual Woman's Cook Off, where a group of cooking gals choose from four categories (Appetizer, Salad, Main Dish or Dessert) and cook their favorite dish, hoping it shines high above its competitors. Last year I made what used to be my favorite meal, eggplant lasagna. I didn't think of appearance, or presentation, or even the fact that it would be compared to ten other dishes by fabulous, experienced cooks. Alas, I did not win. But my lasagna was delicious, I won't lie.

This year I wanted to share the incredibly delicious side of vegan cuisine with my fellow female chefs. I chose the appetizer category, keeping in mind the fact that I could easily get away with making a "main dish" and cutting it into appetizer-friendly bites. I dove into recipe books, blogs, and videos. And I found a true gem: homemade tart crust, hummus sauce, and loads of grilled vegetables exploding with color. I know that not everyone adores their vegetables and that hummus doesn't really draw many chickpea-haters to a dish, but I was willing to risk it all.

At the end of the night, I didn't win, but I did enjoy hummus tarts (as did my husband and parents) for the next day or two. And I did get many compliments on my meat/dairy-free appetizer. 5 stars, baby.

Grilled Vegetable and Hummus Tarts
adapted from ecurryLinkmakes 2, 8"x 2.5" tarts (I multiplied the recipe by four for the cook off)

For Hummus:
1. 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas
2. 1/4 cup tomatoes, diced into bits (or sun dried)
3. 1 clove garlic
4. salt
5. 1 splash extra virgin olive oil
6. 1.5 teaspoons lemon juice
7. 1 tablespoon tahini

Grilled Vegetables:
1. 1 medium red onion, thickly sliced
2. 2 zucchini, sliced
3. 1 bell pepper, sliced
4. 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
5. 3 cloves of garlic, minced
6. a dash of salt
7. freshly ground black pepper
8. red crushed pepper
9. a good drizzle of olive oil
10. italian seasoning

For the crust:
1. 2 cups whole wheat flour
2. 1/3 cup + 2.5 tablespoons olive oil
3. 1/4 cup + 1.5 tablespoons very cold club soda
4. 1 teaspoon salt
5. freshly ground black pepper
6. dried herbs of choice (I used parsley and basil, dried)

Making the crust:

1. In a bowl combine flour, salt, black pepper, herbs with a whisk.
2. Whisk together club soda and oil until almost creamy, for about 2 minutes.
3. Pour the oil water mix in to the flour mix and stir together with a fork, until the flour come together in a dough form and no dry flour is left. If you think you need extra liquid, add some more club soda or just cold water in very very little amount. Use your hands briskly to pull the flour together in to a dough, and work with the dough briefly and gently and just long enough to pull the dough together. Do not work with /handle the dough too much. The dough should be soft, but not at all sticky. It will not be very stretchy, but will rather kind of come apart.
4. Divide the dough into two parts and roll gently between two sheets of waxed paper, in a single direction. I rolled them into rectangles – 8″ by 2.5″, but you can roll them into whatever shape you desire. Do not roll back and forth. Remove the top parchment paper. Trim the edges, to even it out if you wish. Prick the crust with a fork.
5. Bake the crusts on the same parchment paper at 400 degree F for about 12 minutes, or until the crust is golden.

Preparing the Hummus:
1. Drain the sun dried tomatoes (if you using tomatoes in oil). Save the oil. If you wish you can use this oil instead of the olive oil. If you are using dried version of the sun dried tomatoes, first reconstitute them in boiling water until softened. Chop the tomatoes in smaller pieces.
2. Drain the chickpeas and save the liquid (I freshly cooked mine).
3. Combine all ingredients for hummus in a food processor. Process until smooth; if you need to use liquid, use the liquid of the chickpeas.

Grilling the vegetables:
1. Whisk olive oil, salt, herbs, crushed pepper and minced garlic.
2. Grill the vegetables in a regular grill drizzled with the above olive oil mix.
3. Place all sliced vegetables in a single layer in a baking tray; drizzle the garlic oil. Roast at 380 degree F in a pre heated oven, tossing them midway for 30 minutes.
4. To make/assemble the tart:
5. Cool the crust to warm. Spread about 1/2 cup of hummus on the crust (or as much as you want). Arrange roasted vegetables on the top of the hummus. Sprinkle some sumac and sea salt on the vegetables. Repeat with the other crust. Drizzle with some olive oil and crushed pepper if you wish. Bake the tart in the oven for about a minutes at 350 degree F, just enough to warm the tart.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Oh my sweet baby heavens. The flavors blew me away! I thought the onion might be a bit overpowering, same with the fresh garlic that I almost never use because of my anti-garlic hubby that I love and don't enjoy watching make faces at me when I consume even a tiny piece of dry garlic. Incredible recipe, you have to try this!


  1. You're adorable :) That recipe sounds delicious!!! I must must must try this!

  2. Wow that looks delicious! And since I DO love veggies, this would be perfect for me ;)