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Hummus enhances roasted vegetables

I remember being told in marketing class back in graduate school that the fastest growing food category in America was hummus. Hummus, our professor insisted to us disbelieving students, would soon be ubiquitous. I should have heeded his advice and leveraged that bit of 1991 foresight in some way.

Chances are that if you have been to any kind of gathering lately, you have partaken in a hummus and veggie platter. Stores are filled with endless varieties and homemade recipes flood the internet. With protein and fiber-filled garbanzo beans leading the ingredient list, it's a filling dip that turns baby carrots and bell pepper slices into a worthy snack that will actually fill you up a bit. Both kids and adults seem to like hummus, so it is equally comfortable at a cocktail hour as it is at a kids' soccer field.

The problem is: You always have leftovers. At least we do. Usually, I serve a couple of varieties, along with a triple-sized stock of veggies, because you never really know if the crowd skews more broccoli than carrots, so having veg backup seems wise.

After one of those occasions, I had the idea to toss the leftover veggies into the hummus and roast them. The hummus clung to the veggies just enough to give it a caramelized and tasty crust, and with one recipe, two leftovers were used up to create a whole new side dish or appetizer.

Hummus-Crusted Roasted Veggies

1 cup baby carrots

1 cup broccoli florets

1 cup cauliflower florets

1 cup bell pepper slices (red or yellow preferred)

1 small onion OR fennel bulb, peeled and quartered

1 cup prepared hummus

Garlic or spices, if desired

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Lemons for squeezing

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place inside the oven. Heat oven to 425 degrees, with the sheet pan inside.

In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with the hummus, (and any optional garlic or spices if using), using your hands to coat the veggies. Do not worry if the mixture is a little clumpy or uneven. Once the oven is hot, remove the sheet pan and carefully lay out the coated vegetables on the tray. Return to the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the oven, and quickly turn the vegetables over. Return the vegetables to the oven and roast until desired tenderness, 10 to 15 more minutes. Remove from heat, sprinkle with salt and lemon juice, and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 100 calories, 5 g protein, 4g fat, 13 g carbohydrate (4 g sugar), no cholesterol, 270 mg sodium and 5 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 1.

Food on 05/16/2018

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