I love traveling because it always provides such great inspiration for cooking. This weekend was no exception. We hit some amazing places and restaurants, which I'll post about later this week, once the pictures are downloaded. One of the most memorable places we went was the West Side Market, which practically deserves its own post to describe the greatness it holds. But while walking through the market, we came upon a Greek stand that proclaimed they made "Cleveland's Best Hummus." They had about 4 different varieties, most of which I've made before, but it was the spinach hummus that caught my eye. I immediately put it on my list of things to make.
While driving to the grocery store this morning, I was trying to think of ways to kick it up a bit. I came up with a few variations, but nothing really interested me until the thought of pine nuts came across my mind. Not only do they add a great toasted flavor, but they also add a nice little texture variation.
Spinach and Toasted Pine Nut Hummus
2 tbsp pinenuts
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, cooked*, and drained
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp salt
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 c olive oil
In a small skillet, toast pine nuts over medium high heat until slightly golden. Set aside to cool down. Drain half of the package of spinach and place into food processor. Save remaining spinach for another use. In food processor, process spinach and lemon juice until well chopped. Add pine nuts and pulse until nuts are finely chopped. Remove from processor and set aside. Add remaining ingredients to processor and process to desired texture. Add spinach mixture and pulse until well mixed. Allow to chill in the refridgerator for an hour or two for flavors to shake hands. Serve and enjoy!
*I cooked it according to the directions on the back of the package, which just involves putting it into a covered dish with a tbsp of water and throwing it into the microwave for 2 minutes.