Pistachios provide nutty source of protein for ‘hummus’
This spin on “hummus” deserves its quotation marks because it doesn’t contain chickpeas. Instead, it is a spreadable blend of pistachios and edamame seasoned with Middle Eastern flavors including lemon, parsley, garlic, cumin and coriander. The nuts play a starring role, imbuing the dip with a definite pistachio flavor, while the edamame provides a creamy base and the fresh, green color we have come to expect from the nut, which, when pureed on its own, is actually more brownish. You can serve this “hummus” just like you would any other: as a dip for vegetables, in a pita sandwich and spread on avocado toast, for example.
In the accompanying recipe, it turns grilled eggplant into a sumptuous, protein- rich dish that can be offered as part of a larger spread or that can stand by itself as a main course. The thin Asian eggplants, which are seasoned with smoked paprika to enhance their savory umami flavor, become creamy on the inside and flavorfully charred outside after several minutes on the grill. Served in large pieces on top of a smear of the pistachio-edamame spread, they have a satisfying, steak-like quality. Fresh tomatoes add a burst of juiciness and color to the plate, along with a drizzle of oil and the crunch of pistachios and parsley.
The eggplant can be served warm or at room temperature, so you can make it ahead for an easy-breezy summer meal.
Grilled Eggplant on Pistachio ‘Hummus’
For the hummus:
1 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios, lightly toasted (see note)
1 cup frozen shelled
edamame, thawed 2 tablespoons fresh lemon
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf
1 clove garlic, minced ½ teaspoon ground cumin ½ teaspoon ground coriander ½ teaspoon salt ¾ cup water 2 tablespoons extra-virgin
For the eggplant:
3 slender Japanese eggplants
(about 1 pound) 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil ¼ teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika ¼ teaspoon salt ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, each cut into quarters ¼ cup shelled unsalted pistachios, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped (see note)
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf
For the hummus: Combine the pistachios, edamame, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt and water in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped, stopping to scrape down the sides of the work bowl, as needed. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil. The yield is about 2 cups.
For the eggplant: Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Trim the ends of the eggplants, then cut each eggplant in half lengthwise. Use 1 tablespoon of the oil to brush both sides, then season the cut sides with the paprika, salt and pepper. Cook until softened and grill marks have formed, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Allow to cool slightly, or to room temperature, then cut each piece of eggplant in half crosswise.
To serve, spoon about cup of the pistachio hummus onto each plate. Top each portion with two pieces of eggplant and some tomato. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of the remaining oil, then sprinkle with chopped pistachios and parsley leaves.
Makes 6 servings.
Note: Toast the pistachios in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned, shaking the pan to avoid scorching. Let cool completely before using.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 300 calories, 9 g protein, 24 g fat, 16 g carbohydrates (7 g sugar), no cholesterol, 300 mg sodium and 7 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 1.