Just when you thought I ran out of ideas for hummus recipes, surprise! I’ve got a new one. In fact, my most recent recipe for Green Olive and Pimento Hummus inspired me to make this Italian Pickled Vegetable (Giardiniera) Hummus.
I’ve been using chopped giardiniera as a relish for grilled tuna steaks after enjoying this meal at a cooking class Greg and I took last year. Then one day, I decided to incorporate finely chopped giardiniera into my tuna salad. I figured if it’s good on tuna steaks, it must be good in tuna salad, right? Right! It was (and is) awesome!
OK, now I’ll get back to how I came up with making a giardiniera hummus. I was looking in the fridge for something to eat. I had a craving for olives, but of course, there were none left. Isn’t that always the way? Anyway, the jar of giardiniera popped out at me. I thought, “there ARE olives in it soooooo that addresses my olive fix, but what do I want to do with it?”
I pondered and pondered and pondered. Not in the mood for tuna. More pondering. Not in the mood for a deli sandwich topped with pickled veggies. Again with the pondering. Then it hit me…Eureka! I’ll make hummus with giardiniera just like I made hummus with olives. I should make a new saying – When it doubt, make hummus.
OK, that’s enough about that. So, about the blend of giardiniera I used in this recipe. It is called “Fancy Giardiniera” and it’s made by Cento. The brand carries two kinds of giardiniera – “fancy” and “hot.” It is commonly used in antipasto dishes. The “fancy” is the mild version and is made up of cauliflower, carrots, celery, peppers and olives. This is my favorite blend because it has an authentic Italian flavor and you can really taste the vegetables.
I decided to spice it up just a little bit in my hummus by adding some crushed red pepper. It gave it just the right amount of heat for this dish.
This hummus is perfect as a snack for your Meatless Monday menu, but is also great as a veggie burger or cheese sandwich spread. You can even enjoy it as a salad topper! It tastes just like a “meatless” version of antipasto.
And if you really want to, just eat it right out of the food processor. That’s what I caught Greg doing while I was preparing the set. I guess he really likes it! 😉
To make this Italian Pickled Vegetable (Giardiniera) Hummus, start by adding chickpeas and garlic to the bowl of a food processor.
Then add giardiniera (be sure to remove any pepper stems), giardiniera “juice,” lemon juice and salt.
Begin by processing on low, slowly adding olive oil. Scrape the sides as needed and continue to process on high until smooth and no chunks remain. Garnish with crushed red pepper flakes and enjoy! 🙂
- 1 (15 oz.) can no salt added chickpeas
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cup fancy giardiniera, packed & stems removed from peppers (I used Cento brand)
- 1½ teaspoons jarred giardiniera liquid
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish (optional)
- Add chickpeas, giardiniera, jarred giardiniera liquid, garlic, lemon juice and salt to the bowl of a food processor.
- Begin processing on low speed.
- While processing, slowly add the olive oil.
- Process on high speed until smooth and creamy and no chunks remain. You may have to stop to scrape down the sides and continue processing.
- Once the hummus has a smooth consistency, transfer to serving bowl and garnish with crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.