After this easy pickled celery, toasted hazelnut and pesto hummus recipe (seriously…yum!), you may never want to move on to dinner! I could eat this all night. Thank you to Sabra for helping me to share this recipe with you.
If someone tasked me with choosing one type of cuisine to eat for an entire month, I’d likely have some kind of food lover’s breakdown. The pressure! If we’re talking strictly about flavors, the answer would likely include a cuisine that is heavy on the soy sauce. However, if we’re talking about a style of eating, then the cuisine of Spain – and I’m specifically talking about tapas here – would take first place, hands down.
There’s something about noshing on a variety of flavors, and sharing those dishes and the experience with loved ones, that makes this style of eating so appealing. And, in my experience, happy eaters lead to open, engaging conversations. And that’s exactly why I love serving up pre-dinner snacks to my family…an unofficial meal before the meal.
With everyone gathered around the kitchen island to help me with chopping and stirring for the main meal, we snack on finger foods – hummus, raw veggies, crackers, nuts, cheese. It’s our opportunity to curb the late afternoon munchies while catching up on the day. It’s usually when we get all the dirt on what happened at school or soccer practice, and are able to unwind from a day of work, homework and activities.
I don’t know what it is about good food, but it always seems to lead to loquacious tongues.
While we usually have a variety of Sabra hummus flavors in the fridge, it can be just as fun to make up our own flavor combination. We each have our favorites of the flavors available in the store, whether it’s roasted red pepper, pine nut or lemon hummus. But on this particular day, I was inspired by a combination that I came up with when I visited the Sabra factory last year. In their test kitchens, we were provided with a huge mixture of spices, vegetables, olives and other mix-ins. The combination I came up with was a base of Sabra’s Classic Hummus, topped with pumpkin pesto, pickled celery and toasted almonds.
Since I didn’t have any pumpkin pesto on hand, I used my eldest son’s favorite roasted tomato and hazelnut hummus that we buy at a local specialty store. Seriously, he loves this stuff so much that he practically jumped out of his chair when he found a container in his Easter basket (hey, the Easter bunny has to get creative when one of his recipients doesn’t eat candy).
For the celery, I simply diced a couple of stalks and put the pieces in a glass bowl with apple cider vinegar, a little agave nectar and a sprinkle of salt, and let it sit for a few hours. Instead of almonds, I added some toasted hazelnuts to go with the pesto ingredients.
Use any type of pesto that you prefer, change up the nuts and even consider using a different type of pickled veggie (diced pickled green beans would work well, too). Set the hummus on a platter, with some crackers and sliced raw veggies.
You may find that the unofficial meal becomes so popular that you skip dinner altogether!
Other “unofficial meal” recipes:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Easy Guacamole & Spiced Shrimp Crostini
Cookin’ Canuck’s Curry Spiced Nuts with Dried Cherries
Reluctant Entertainer’s Apple Endive Appetizer
Rolling Spoons Gluten Free Quinoa Chia Bites
Kitchen Sanctuary’s Baked Parmesan Carrot Fries with Chilli Mayo Dip
Happy Foods’ Oven Roasted Artichokes with Homemade Garlic Dip
- 1 (10 oz.) container Classic Sabra Hummus
- 2 tablespoons tomato hazelnut pesto
- 2 tablespoons pickled celery
- 1 tablespoon chopped toasted hazelnuts
- On top of the hummus, dollop the pesto, celery and toasted hazelnuts.
- Just before serving, stir the ingredients into the hummus.
- Serve with crackers and raw vegetables.
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