Hummus with Preserved Lemon & Sun-dried Tomatoes (Recipes for Tahini Paste and Preserved Lemons included)

by Tokyo Terrace on January 11, 2010

Ah, January. The time when countless individuals begin the New Year’s resolution to drop a few pounds. Well, I can’t say that I am completely uninvolved in this cult, because I am pretty sure if you look in my “New Year’s Resolution Diary” you could find this as my number 1 resolution each and every year. There’s always 5 lbs. to lose, right?

Here’s the problem: I ADORE food. That’s actually an understatement. There isn’t really a word that adequately describes how much I love food. And I’m not ashamed to admit that. As a result of this adoration, my healthy recipes are created with a sense of serious determination. I want to eat foods that are nutritious but also full of flavor. This hummus is one of those great snack foods that is unique, bursting with taste and very easy to make.

There are several components of this hummus that bring it to the top of my list when I really want to watch my weight: #1- Garbanzo beans have an insane amount of protein, which helps to curb my gargantuan appetite, #2- Preserved lemon and sun-dried tomatoes bring a flavor boost that is unexpected, leaving my cravings for other foods sufficiently curbed, #3- In less than 10 minutes, I can have a week’s worth of hummus to have on hand in the refrigerator for emergency purposes.

I actually made my own tahini paste (first time ever!) for this recipe, but store bought works just as well and is much more convenient. Tahini paste (made from sesame seeds) can be kind of expensive in grocery stores in the U.S., but it is sold in relatively large quantities so you can justify spending the money if you will use it. Here in Japan, it is difficult to find Tahini paste but easy to find sesame seeds, which is why I went with the homemade route (and included the recipe below).

Preserved lemons, an ingredient typically found in Moroccan cuisine, are actually very easy to make yourself, so if you can’t find them at the store, follow my recipe below for those as well. Wow! Three recipes in one post! What WILL you do with yourselves? I should have made three separate blog posts…

The preserved lemon and sun-dried tomato provide flavor and texture contrasts without taking away from the classic flavors in the hummus. I especially enjoyed the chewy, sweet, full-flavored sun dried tomato in addition to the beautiful presentation they helped to create. Well, here come all three recipes! Enjoy!

Hummus with Preserved Lemon and Sun-Dried Tomato

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

2 preserved lemons, rinds only, chopped, plus 2 teaspoons juice from the jar (recipe below)

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/3 cup Tahini paste (recipe below)

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

In the bowl of a food processor, add the garbanzo beans, tahini paste, preserved lemon rinds and juice, and garlic. Pulse to combine. With the food processor running, stream in the olive oil until the hummus is creamy. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle extra olive oil over the top of the hummus if desired. Eat with sliced vegetables, pita chips, or whole-wheat crackers.

Preserved Lemons

Makes 1 jar

10 lemons (Meyer if you have access, but if not regular lemons are fine)

1/2 cup sea salt

Scrub the lemons clean and dry them with a paper or kitchen towel. Cut the lemons into quarters, then into eights. Begin fitting the lemon wedges tightly into the jar, pressing down to release a bit of the juice. When the jar is packed full, pour the salt over the top of the lemons and seal. Keep the jar sealed for 10 days, turning the jar each day to evenly distribute the salt and the lemon juice. Store the preserved lemons in your refrigerator for up to 1 year.

Tahini Paste

Makes about 1 cup

1 cup white sesame seeds

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry, non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Stir the seeds constantly to prevent burning. When the seeds become fragrant (which should take 3-4 minutes) remove them from the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool.

When the seeds are cool, move them to a food processor. With the processor running, stream in the vegetable oil and allow the processor to run until a smooth paste forms. It should be thinner than peanut butter. Transfer the finished paste to a jar or bowl and store in the refrigerator.

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  • Sarah

    what a great hummus variation. In general, Israelis are very conservative with their hummus but I think they would make an exception with this recipe, looks tantalizing with the preserved lemons and dried tomatoes.

  • nobuko6

    Phew! That is one of my favorite mediterranean food. You right. it’s too hard to get Tahini paste. Do try “nerigoma”. Thanks for the nice recipes. :)

  • Divina

    This is a great hummus variation. Love the addition of preserved lemons too.

  • Jan

    So fresh and healthy. I can’t wait to try it.

  • Curiouseats – Lissa

    Hummus is a great healthy snack! How is the flavor different with the preserved lemons? You must not eat this out of your home. I can only use one clove of garlic or my colleagues would ban me from the workplace!

  • Talley

    yeah, this sounds great. I love the flavor that preserved lemons add.

  • Aunt J in Hendersonville

    We both love hummus and this looks & sounds realllllly good! Am heading for kitchen right now to make some. Seriously. Right now!
    (Thanks for Tahini paste recipe. That stuff is so hard to find!
    Will have to cheat on lemons until I go to market, buy lemons, make up jar of preserved).

  • Amber @ Native Food and Wine

    Love this recipe. I’ve never made preserved lemons and have always wanted to as well. Beautiful!

  • diva@ The Sugar Bar

    mmm this looks so very delicious. about time i started making my own houmous instead of buying it from the store! x

  • tokyoterrace

    Sarah: I’m glad you feel it would get a seal of approval :) It really is delicious with the briny, tart flavor of the preserved lemons and the sweet chewy tomatoes. Mmmmmm…

    Nobuko6: Hummus is one of my favorites as well. I am so glad to know how to make my own Tahini since it is so hard to find here.

    Divina: Thanks! The preserved lemons have been sitting in my fridge begging to be used. I just thought this would be perfect!

  • tokyoterrace

    Jan: Glad you like it! It’s been a great snack food throughout this week.

    Curiouseats: The flavor is not drastically different since hummus usually calls for lemon juice anyway. The twist comes in especially when you bit into a little piece of the preserved lemon. It’s a little salty and citrusy- almost a pickled flavor without the strong vinegar.

    Talley: Glad you like it! I’m always flattered to get your seal of approval :)

  • tokyoterrace

    Aunt J: I hope your hummus turned out well! We have been enjoying ours all week. It’s been so nice to just open the fridge and have it there ready and waiting and delicious!

    Amber: Preserved lemons are a new thing for me as well. They are definitely worth making yourself, especially since they are so easy.

    The Sugar Bar: I like to make my own for various reasons, one being that I know exactly what is going into it. I think that’s the plus of making most foods at home.

  • Debi (Table Talk)

    I make zatar spiced pita chips that are super crispy, and would be just right for a dip in this bowl of lemony deliciousness.

  • wasabi prime

    Beautiful! I love this and can just imagine the intense flavor of the lemon!

  • Kevin

    This sounds good! I just happen to have some homemade preserved lemons in the fridge as well.

  • wendy

    this looks amazing. i am going to stalk your website for recipes, starting here. can you tell me more about what else you might do with preserved lemons? if i’m going to make a jar (and i AM going to make a jar), do you recommend them in anything else?

  • Greenleaf90

    Hey now, you can get hummus in Hamamatsu, in Shizuoka
    at Tirnan Og craft pub, KK House, and Slowporch in Hamakita.

    They have many flavors to choose from.
    The local brand is called Satorijava Traders Hummus.
    They’ve got several different tastes, such as sun dried tomato, artichoke, etc.

  • Greenleaf90

    Hey now, you can get hummus in Hamamatsu, in Shizuoka
    at Tirnan Og craft pub, KK House, and Slowporch in Hamakita.

    They have many flavors to choose from.
    The local brand is called Satorijava Traders Hummus.
    They’ve got several different tastes, such as sun dried tomato, artichoke, etc.

  • Pingback: Preserved Lemon Relish | Set the Table()

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