Grilled Pita with Smoked Chickpea Hummus
We can’t get enough of hearty appetizers and recipes that are good for a crowd! A savory plate everyone can get in on, goes a long way. And you know what is better than hummus, to go with a night of drinks and friends on the patio? Smoked Chickpea Hummus, served with warm pita bread, grilled on the spot. Let it be the entrée the next time your friends and family come over… or even try it as a side dish, at your next dinner party. The main course is the satisfaction of cooking for a crowd, and perfecting the grill. It’s an easy-to-make platter with amazing flavor! Low effort, high impact… what more do you want?
- 1-1/2 cups chickpeas
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- Smoked paprika, to taste
- Pita bread
To start with, get your fire and set up grill for indirect heat and remember to add some wood for smoking. I would use a fruit wood, like apple or cherry. Since the chickpeas tend to soak up a lot of smoke, you won’t need to add too much wood. Just a tease will do to get that extra flavor.
Use chickpeas that have been soaked and cooked ahead of time, or open a can of quality chickpeas, and drain them, but save the liquid for later. You’ll want to use that liquid to thin out the hummus later, and preserve the taste. Smoke chickpeas on a tray with the garlic for up to 45 minutes. Taste the chickpeas after 15 minutes and decide if you want more smoke on them. The chickpeas and garlic do not need to “cook,” we are just adding smoke flavor to the hummus, and looking for a smoked garlic kick. When you the chickpeas reach your preferred smoke level, remove them and let them cool while you get together your other ingredients.
Bring out a food processor or blender to blend in the rest of the ingredients. The distinctive sesame kick from the tahini is part of the secret of making good hummus, but it’s not the only aspect to it! The smoked chickpeas and garlic are the base of this well-know chickpea paste, and the taste is lifted with the tahini, lemon and olive oil. Add more olive oil and that chickpea liquid you set aside, to thin out the hummus. Blend it until it is your desired thickness.
Then, transfer the hummus to a bowl and drizzle some olive oil on top with a little paprika. You can use smoked paprika to further enhance the smoked flavor. Add a few olives for garnish.
Now, go back to your grill. Set it up for direct heat, so you can heat up the pita bread and grill it for 15 seconds or so per side. The slight exposure to the heat will make all the difference! When you’re ready to serve, plate them next to the hummus, and then you’re all set. Enjoy!
Pita bread, carrots, bell pepper, and cucumber are all great ways to enjoy the hummus. And if they’re grilled, they’re better.