Sweet Bean Hummus
My little Sweet Bean.
A few weeks ago a friend asked if I would concoct a hummus out of local ingredients for a celebration at the Farmer’s Market. They wanted to serve hummus in lettuce leaves which is a traditional Iranian dish of spring, but because the group intended to bring focus to reduction in fossil fuels we looked for ingredients we could use from our region. This took a little pondering.
Basic Hummus is made from garbanzo beans (legume), tahini (seed butter), lemon juice (acid), olive oil (oil), garlic, and salt.
There aren’t many dry beans that are grown on a large scale around us, so my first thoughts of legume went to Peas and Edamame Beans (Sweet Peas) from a regional company that produces organic frozen fruits and vegetables. Instead of tahini I used Sunflower Seeds which are being grown in Minnesota. A few years ago it would have been difficult to find a regional oil, but we now have Sunflower Oil from Wisconsin and Minnesota, which I used to replace the olive oil (not that olive oil can ever be replaced…).
The trickiest ingredient was going to be the acid as there aren’t many lemony fruits in the upper midwest. I could have used a vinegar but that might have overpowered the mild sweet bean flavors. Fortunately I still had an unopened bottle of the Locust Lane Verjus from the FEAST local foods marketplace and tradeshow last fall. Verjus is the juice of green immature grapes that are culled from the vine to allow the remaining grapes to flourish, and since it has a tart flavor with hints of lemon it seemed the obvious winning choice for this hummus.
Garlic was easily found from our local producers and herbs were growing in my garden so it left the Salt as the one ingredient I could not find from our region.
Both parsley and oregano were growing vigorously in the garden so they seemed like the obvious spring-herb choice.
It really is this color, nearly neon. The flavor is mildly sweet with decent body and flavor, not a bad little experiment. Try it as a dip with chips or vegetables, on a sandwich, or in a lettuce wrap.
Sweet Bean Hummus
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Using a food processor, blend into a slurry:
1/3 cup Sunflower Seeds
1/3 cup Verjus (or lemon juice)
1 large clove Garlic, (about 1 1/2 Tablespoons) chopped
2 teaspoons Real Salt
You may need to stop and scrape the edges of the processor bowl.
2 cups frozen Peas (if using fresh peas, blanch before using)
2 cups frozen Edamame or ‘Sweet’ Beans (if using fresh edamame, blanch before using)
Pulse chop to mix it together, then turn the processor ‘on’ and drizzle in:
2/3 cup Sunflower Oil
Blend a few minutes until smooth.
Pulse chop or stir in:
1/4 cup Fresh Oregano, finely chopped (dried oregano is much more potent)
1/4 cup Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
Out on the River Trail…a little color amid the green.