Loaded Hummus is topped with juicy heirloom cherry tomatoes and basil ~ they’re an unexpectedly perfect complement to a classic Mediterranean chickpea dip ~ it’s summer in an appetizer!
I didn’t think there were too many iterations of hummus left that we haven’t tried, we make it all the time, and always try to change it up in some interesting way. And frankly I wasn’t really expecting to love this loaded hummus as much as I do, but boy was I surprised. This isn’t just pretty ~ the acidity of the tomato juices mix with the evoo, basil, and pine nuts to make for one tasty hummus topping. I love that it brings together two branches of Mediterranean cuisine, the Italian and the Middle Eastern, into one super healthy appetizer.
I might have called this Garden Hummus, as the little cherry tomatoes and fresh basil could just as well have come from your garden, they’re so easy to grow.
When I visit my Sunday farmers market I make a beeline for my favorite stall, it’s a Korean woman and her son who always have the most amazingly colorful heirloom tomatoes and peppers. She arranges them by variety and I’m like a kid in a candy store as I fill my bag with the best specimens from each cardboard box. These tiny tomatoes work great for a hummus topping because they’re easy to scoop up with pita bread. Some are almost as tiny as peas! They make the perfect topping for a loaded hummus.
Note: If you use larger cherry tomatoes, be sure quarter them, or even dice them.
Did anybody spot my pink lemons in the shot above? I got them at the farmers market too! I’m trying to think of something fun to do with them, so if you’ve used them or have any ideas, let me know in the comments… And if you’re looking closely at those lemons, you might also notice how silky smooth the hummus is.
The secret to a super silky loaded hummus
I use a very powerful blender, in this case, my Vitamix blender. I’ve made hummus for years with a food processor and the texture was never this smooth. I’ve tried all the tricks, like adding baking soda to the cooking water, removing the skins from the chickpeas, etc, and this is the only thing that has really made a difference in the texture of my hummus. The machine is so powerful that the dip comes out of the blender warm, and it’s great to eat that way, if you get the chance.
what to serve with loaded hummus
more summer appetizers to try
- 50 Ways to Hack Your Hummus
- peach prosciutto & ricotta crostini
- Basil Marinated Mozzarella with Summer Tomatoes
- Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta
- food processor or blender
- 1 pint multicolored heirloom cherry tomatoes, or whatever you can find
- fresh basil leaves
- extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, I toast mine with a little olive oil in a skillet until they turn golden
- Put the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, tahini and olive oil into a powerful blender or food processor. Turn the machine on low, then raise it to high, adding the water as the chickpeas start to break down. Let the machine go for several minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary, until the hummus is silky smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the hummus out onto a shallow bowl.
- Slice the tomatoes in half or quarters and put in a bowl. If your basil leaves are small, leave them whole, otherwise thinly slice them and add them, along with the pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper, and toss with olive oil.
- Pour a swirl of olive oil over the surface of the hummus, and top with the tomatoes. Scatter the pine nuts over all.
- Make it with regular tomatoes ~ I love cherry tomatoes in this hummus, but you could dice up regular tomatoes.
- Make it a side dish ~ serve alongside grilled chicken, steak, or fish.