Roast Tomato and Spinach Hummus Queso-lessdillas

You don’t have to call these tortilla wedges “quesadillas”. Maybe it makes more sense to think of them as tortilla triangles with hummus. But if you do break things down to the basics like that, take a second to trying re-framing, because it’s really fun, and it turns something I’d normally box into the realms of “snack” or “lunch” into a substantial and respectable, quick and satisfying weeknight supper, paired with a salad or bowl of soup. And try the hummus. I’m excited about the hummus.

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Since going dairy free, we’ve had what I liked to think of as hummus quesadillas many times. It never crossed my mind to share this though, until I came across this post from Cookie and Kate. Given that I’ve never tried a recipe off this woman’s blog that I haven’t not just loved but love-loved, I couldn’t help but conclude, Cool! Hummus quesadillas are a thing! And now, being me and therefore irresistibly drawn to cheesy word play (even, and maybe especially in the case of things lacking cheese), I have to share but also point out that it would be both more accurate and playful to call these beauties “queso-lessdillas”.

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Warm and crispy on the outside, creamy and flavorful on the inside, what’s not to love about these delectable wedges whatever you call them? Dave and I like ours with spinach, tomato and olives—Chef F enjoys that same without the olives. But, as adventurous and bold a healthy food explorer as he is, sometimes Chef F gets picky. When it comes to these, the picky-trigger is typically texture. And that’s how the featured hummus here was born.

OK, that’s not actually the whole reason we made roast tomato hummus. The big picture is that we snuck in one last bowl of cherry tomatoes from the garden before a freak snow storm two weekends or so ago. They were starting to lose their perkiness anyway, and just begged to be roasted, because roasting—yum! And since I was planning on making up some hummus queso-lessdillas for lunch anyway, how convenient that we could offer Chef F the same flavors and vegetables with options of smooth or chunky depending on the mood of the day?

What makes me most excited about this hummus is that it may be the first time ever I’ve truly made creamy…really creamy…homemade hummus. And I have this post from From My Bowl to thank. Her tips were brilliant. They must be especially so, because I’m awfully chuffed with what I made and I only followed a handful of them.

Yes, I cheated. No, short-cutted. It had to be done. I used canned chickpeas, and I didn’t peel my chickpeas as thoroughly as I could have. That said, I did peel them, just a bit haphazardly, akin to the way you’d think of “coarsely chopped” versed “diced”. Cooking a bit (even canned) in a little baking soda does make it pretty quick work, and so does placing them in a bowl of cold water and rubbing them a bit. I had never taken the time to do either before, and even a half-assed effort proved well worth it.

After peeling the chickpeas, the other great tip I gleaned was pouring lemon juice and salt into the processor while running. But the biggest trick may have been blending in the tahini while pouring in some ice cold water over about five minutes. The smoothness was amazing!

I hardly took a scientific route to making this hummus. It’s far from authentic. But I made it just the other day, and it’s gone now. In a few short days it made toast toasttastic and dairy free quesadillas exciting and Chef F approved. Let me know where your hummus journeys take you!

Roast Tomato and Spinach Hummus (and Queso-lessdillas)

For the hummus:

  • 1 1/2 cup (approximately) cherry tomatoes

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, shelled (as much as you’re up for at least)

  • juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup tahini

  • approximately 1/2 cup fresh spinach (or a good handful)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F .

  2. Place tomatoes and whole garlic cloves on a baking sheet and coat liberally with cooking spray. Roast for 10-15 minutes, until tomatoes are softened and beginning to brown.

  3. In a food processor, puree chickpeas with cooked garlic and tomatoes. Mix lemon juice, salt, and smoked paprika in a small bowl and pour into processor while continuing to blend.

  4. Add 1/4 cup tahini to running food processor followed by/with 1/3 cup ice water. Add additional tahini and water as needed to reach desired consistency.

  5. Pulse in spinach.

For the queso-lessdillas:

Simply spread hummus over an 8-inch whole wheat (or choice) tortilla. Top with additional fillings as desired. Top with an additional tortilla. Warm a skillet coated lightly with cooking spray over medium heat. Place the filled tortilla round in the pan, lightly spraying the top layer with a little more cooking spray. Cook a couple of minutes, then flip. The tortillas should be golden and crisp—if not, flip again and cook for an additional minute or two. Slice into wedges and enjoy!