Here’s a dish I’ve been dreaming about for the past year and a half: Turkish hot layered hummus. It was one of the most surprising and memorable dishes I had on my culinary tour of Istanbul. It was served at lunch as a meze (small plate) at a wonderful popular Istanbul restaurant called Kantin. They’re know for their homey rustic dishes created from fresh, local, seasonal ingredients. The ingredients are so fresh, in fact, that there’s no printed menu. You don’t know what you’ll get until you arrive and see the daily offerings, freshly written on a chalkboard on the wall.
Hot layered hummus has been on my list of “I have to make this for my blog!” recipes since returning from Istanbul. Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I got down to work on it. I adapted the recipe from several sources, including the notes I took at Kantin, The Middle Eastern Kitchen cookbook by Ghillie Basan, and some of my own ideas.
The dish has chickpeas and tahini like traditional hummus, but it’s extra creamy because of the addition of Greek yogurt.
All the ingredients are pureed and the hummus is spread into an ovenproof dish, topped with toasted pine nuts and spiced butter, and baked until the butter sinks in and the hummus puffs up.
It’s served warm, with a tangy fresh chopped salad of cucumbers, radishes and sun-dried tomatoes on top.
Hot layered hummus is perfect for a party – it’s so festive and full of wonderful flavors and textures.
Great on a cracker, pita chip or fresh sliced pita bread.
If you go to Istanbul, restaurant Kantin is fabulous and definitely worth a visit. Their version of hot layered hummus is topped with lots of cooked slivered beets, radishes, cucumber, tomatoes, pine nuts, and a Turkish spicy cured meat called Basturma. I hope you get a chance to try it! And I hope you try my version too!
- For The Hummus
- 3 15 ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups Greek yogurt (whole milk)
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5 tablespoons lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
- 3 medium garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- Pine Nut Topping
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (or ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes plus ½ teaspoon sweet paprika)
- Salad Topping
- ⅓ of an english cucumber, washed and finely diced
- 5 radishes, washed, trimmed, thinly sliced, then stack slices and cut them into ¼ inch slivers.
- 6 tablespoons minced, drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (or substitute balsamic vinegar)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Several grinds of black pepper
- Optional Garnish
- 1 teaspoon toasted pine nuts
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- Make the Hummus Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Put all of the hummus ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and puree. Transfer to an oven-proof dish or casserole. Set aside. *Note: you can prepare the hummus ahead to this point, and keep it in the fridge, covered, for up to 24 hours. Allow it to come to room temperature before continuing. Put the hummus in the preheated oven a half hour before you want to serve it.
- Make the Pine-nut Topping Toast the pine nuts in a small, heavy, dry skillet over medium high heat, tossing constantly, until they begin to brown, 3-4 minutes. Add butter and stir. As soon as the butter is melted, turn off the heat and stir in the Aleppo pepper. Pour the whole mixture over the hummus. Place the hummus in the oven and cook for 25 minutes, until it's hot and has risen a bit.
- Make the Salad Topping While the hummus is heating, toss all the salad ingredients with the dressing in a small bowl. Set aside.
- When the hummus comes out of the oven, spoon the salad evenly over the top. Garnish with pine nuts and sesame seeds, if you like. Serve hot with pita, sliced baguette or crackers.