© Chef Michael Smith 2018
Hummus is most often made with dried legumes like chickpeas but it’s just as delicious whipped up with fresh, green peas. Especially when it’s brightened with lots of spicy flavour balanced with cool mint. And what better dipper for dipping such dip than a crispy pita chip? What a great way to fill Half Your Plate with fruits and vegetables!
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
For the pita chips
2 tablespoons of your best olive oil
2 tablespoons of honey
1 tablespoon of sriracha
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
For the hummus
2 cups or so of freshly shucked or frozen peas
the zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of tahini
1 clove of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of Sriracha or your favourite hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon of salt
a handful of fresh mint, a cup or so of loosely packed leaves
Begin with the pitas. Prepare and preheat your oven to 350°. Turn on your convection fan if you have one. Whisk together the oil, honey, hot sauce and cinnamon. Brush each pita evenly then lightly sprinkle with salt. Stack the works then cut into six or eight pie-shaped wedges. Arrange the pieces on a baking tray and bake until toasted and crisp, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile make the hummus. Bring a small saucepot of lightly salted water to a steady simmer. Toss in the peas and cook until they’re bright green and tender but not soft. Drain well and rinse with cold water for a few moments.
Toss the peas into your food processor along with the lemon, tahini, garlic, cumin, salt and mint. Pulse and process until smoothly pureed. Serve and share with lots of crisp pita chips for dipping!
Vegetables aren’t just for supper; they’re great for anchoring snack time too. You can use edible-pod pea varieties like sugar or snap peas to make this hummus. They’re just as delicious and simple to prepare. In a pinch you can even use frozen peas.
When I toss romaine hearts into my shopping cart, chances are I’m heading home to make my family’s favourite salad. Every cook should know the joy of crafting a true Caesar salad while avoiding the also-ran dressings at the supermarket that never quite measure up to the real thing. Over time we’ve experimented with lots of additional flavours in this salad but, more often than not, I toss in lots of fresh basil leaves and brightly flavoured cherry tomatoes. What a great way to fill Half Your Plate!
One of the best ways to fill Half Your Plate (and all of your soup bowl) is with a simple puréed soup. They’re a time-honoured and super-simple way to get a whole lot of vegetable flavour on the table in a hurry – maybe even hide vegetables from finicky eaters. This one was custom created by Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick with Chef Michael Smith’s coaching!