Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad with Toasted Seeded Chèvre

This is one luscious Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad!  The toasted seeded chèvre is crazy good paired with the freshness of the tomatoes.  The olive oil herb dressing gives a nice depth to this perfectly balanced salad.  It is even more incredible when served with crusty sourdough bread and a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad I have had cookbooks on the brain ever since my friend Aysegul from Foolproof Living talked about her abundance of cookbooks in one of her recent posts.  I had made a comment about how I sold over 50 cookbooks right before I left Oregon.  It was probably actually more than 50, but who’s counting?  Even though I sometimes wish I still had them, it’s nice to start a new collection.

Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad The strange thing about cookbooks and me is that I can never get myself to actually make any of the recipes.  I generally use them as a source of inspiration.  My recipe process has always been the same.  I pour through as many cookbooks, magazines and online resources as I can for inspiration.  Then I start writing out the ingredients I want to use for a new recipe.  From there I just start making it and fill in the amounts as I go.

Aysegul has inspired me to actually try a recipe from a cookbook.  I just ordered Alternative Baker by Alanna Taylor-Tobin from The Bojon Gourmet and I’m going to try and make one of her recipes.  Although I will most likely adapt it a little, I’m still excited to try one out!

Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad As I mentioned in my prior post, it was my birthday on last Labor Day.  My friends Hannah and Dennis had brought me a whole bunch of Heirloom cherry tomatoes that they grew in their garden.  I was instantly inspired to develop an end of summer tomato salad.

 I wanted to incorporate a toasted seed mix into my fresh summer salad.  I got the idea for the toasted seed mix from a cafe in Santa Cruz called The Picnic Basket.  They have a basic green salad that they top with toasted seeds and it’s incredible!  I decided to cover chèvre cheese balls with the toasted seed mix.  I started to search the Internet and I came across Half Baked Harvest’s salad recipes where she did almost the exact thing I had envisioned.  She made them into really small balls, which I thought was even more perfect than what I was originally going to do!  Thus this salad was born!

Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad This salad is amazing with a crisp Sauvignon Blanck from the Marlborough region of New Zealand.  It’s also nice with a Rosé, Pinot Gris or a Soave.

Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad

Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad Recipe:
  • 3 Baskets Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes – room temperature – some whole – cut some in halves  – some in quarters
  • 1/4 Red Onion – minced
  • 1 Ear of Corn – cut off the cob (or 1/2 cup frozen and thawed)
Dressing – adapted from my  Italian Style Salsa Verde
  • 1/4 Cup Minced Fresh Basil
  • 3 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Chives
  • 1 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons Capers – roughly chopped
  • 1 Shallot – minced
  • 2 Small Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon White Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
  • Dash Black Pepper
Toasted Seed Cheese Balls
  • 8 oz Chevre Cheese
  • 2/3 Cup Raw Pepitas
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons White Sesame Seeds
  • 1/3 Cup Raw Sunflower Seeds
Instructions:
Dressing

Add everything to a medium bowl, mix together and set aside.

Toasted Seed Cheese Balls
In a large skillet, toast the pepitas seeds on medium heat, while stirring often, for 2 minutes then add the sunflower and sesame seeds and stir until fragrant and lightly golden.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.  Approx. 3 – 5 minutes.
Measure a teaspoon of the cheese and roll into a ball.  Next, roll the cheese balls into the seeds as best you can, then add some seeds to the palm of your hands to roll more onto the cheese for full coverage.  Place them into a covered container and refrigerate until the salad is ready.
You will have some seeds leftover to add to individual salads.
Assemble
Wash and dry the tomatoes.  Cut some into quarters, halves and leave some whole.  There are two ways you can pull it together.
1. In a large bowl, mix everything but the cheese balls together. Serve the cheese on the side.
2. Arrange half the tomatoes on a large platter.  Sprinkle on half the corn and half the onion, drizzle with the dressing and then add more tomatoes, corn and onion.  Arrange some of the cheese balls around.  Serve remaining cheese balls and seeds on the side.
  Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad Health benefits:

Tomatoes are great for the heart due to the extreme antioxidant support, niacin, folate and vitamin B6 that help the reduction of heart disease.  They are also high in vitamins A, C, K and potassium.  The choline in tomatoes helps assist the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.  It also helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory.  Tomatoes are high in Lycopene the antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color.  Cooking tomatoes break down the cell walls, which helps to release the lycopene and is better absorbed by the body with a little bit of fat like olive oil.  The Zeaxanthin in them helps to filter harmful ultra-violet rays, which protect eyes from “age-related macular disease.”  They are also a powerful blood purifier and great for skin and bone health.

 

Triple Chocolate Cookies

These Triple Chocolate Cookies are a chocolate lovers dream come true!!  They are filled with chocolaty goodness from cocoa powder, melted chocolate in the mix along with the bittersweet and semisweet chocolate chunks and chips.  It’s an insanely satisfying chocolate party for the mouth!

Triple Chocolate Cookies Many years ago I was obsessed with a triple chocolate cookie from a restaurant I use to frequent in Portland Oregon.  After I opened my own restaurant, I was on a mission to recreate their cookie.  I persisted on for some time trying to get it right by trial and error but I mostly ended up on the error side.  Finally, I had the breakthrough that I was looking for and the cookie ended up being one of my best sellers.  Unfortunately when I sold the restaurant, I gave the new owner all of my recipes thinking that I wanted nothing to do with them ever again.  Boy was I wrong! I sure wish I still had all those recipes.

I have been on a mission once again to recreate that triple chocolate cookie.  However, this time, I wanted to recreate them using whole wheat flour and no eggs or cane sugar.  Mission accomplished!  These cookies are out of this world and exactly how I envisioned them!

Triple Chocolate Cookies Last Monday was Labor Day and my birthday.  It’s always extra special for me when my birthday falls on Labor Day because I was actually born on Labor Day and that only happens every seven years. Haha!  I have to say that this was one of my best birthdays to date!  I celebrated it on the beach with a nice potluck, some bubbly and wine with some of my favorite people!

Triple Chocolate Cookies I am not much of a cake person so I had planned on bringing these cookies but I ended up eating most of them before the party.  Whoops!  So, I made a new batch of chocolate chip cookies with a slight twist that I adapted from this recipe and they were a huge hit!  I will post them in the near future, promise!

Triple Chocolate Cookies Triple Chocolate Cookies Recipe:

These Triple Chocolate Cookies are filled with chocolaty goodness from cocoa powder, melted chocolate in the mix along with the bittersweet and semisweet chocolate chunks and chips.

Approx. 18 cookies
  •  1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds – ground
  • 1 1/4 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry
  • 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder – unsweetened
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup Butter – salted – softened
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Cup (30z.) 70% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate – (from a bar) roughly chopped
  • 1 Cup (6 oz.) Semisweet Chocolate Chips – divided into two 1/2 cups
Instructions:
Dough
Grind 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in a coffee grinder and add to a medium mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix well.
In a large mixing bowl, or in a mixer with paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until combined, then mix in maple syrup.  In a double-boiler, melt 1/2 cup of the semi-sweet chocolate chips over medium-low heat.  (If you don’t have a double boiler you can place a heat proof bowl on top of a pan with water in it.  Make sure the bowl is bigger than the pan.)  When the chocolate is melted, add to the butter/sugar mix and mix until completely incorporated.  Add half the flour mix, mixing on low speed or by hand.  Mix in the rest of the flour.  Mix in the remaining chocolate chips and chunks.  I like to reserve enough chunks to press onto the top of each cookie, but that’s totally optional. 
Baking
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F,
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop out 2 tablespoons per cookie. (I literally used a measuring spoon)  Form into discs.  Arrange with about 1 1/2 inches in between each cookie.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely, unless you’re like me and don’t care if it breaks because you want to eat a hot mess of decadent melty chocolate!
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Roasted Poblano Quinoa Salad with Cilantro White Balsamic Vinaigrette

This is a great summer Roasted Poblano Quinoa Salad consisting of little gem lettuce, jicama, corn, red onion, jalapeno, queso fresco and an easy to make cilantro white balsamic dressing.  Omit the cheese if you are vegan.  You can also add other veggies to this salad and make it your own….

Roasted Poblano Quinoa Salad My birthday is on Labor Day this year, which is always exciting since it only comes every 7 years.  My mom and Clyde are coming to visit and to attend my beach potluck birthday party.  There will be a handful of my favorite people so needless to say I am very excited!

As I get older, I become more aware of what having faith means, at least to me.  Everyone experiences times when they need to have faith but it can be so challenging when you are in the middle of a crisis or you can’t see how it can work out.  There have been countless times in my life where everything worked out even though I couldn’t see how it would at the time.  During those times I would often hear my mom’s voice saying, “feel the fear and do it anyways”!  When I am having one of these moments in life I think back to a time when I chose to have faith and to go for something that scared me and how it always turned out even better.  The story below is one of those times.

Roasted Poblano Quinoa Salad Many years ago, I had a stopover in Honolulu when I was on my way back home from New Zealand.  I had an open ended one year round trip ticket.  I had been in New Zealand for 2 months, so I had 10 more months left on my return leg of my ticket.  I did not want to go back to Venice, so I decided to see if my friend Jenna was in Hawaii.  She lived half the year in Santa Monica and the other half in Hawaii.  I called her when I got off the plane and luckily, she was there and she came to the airport to pick me up.  I was so excited because she happened to be with my good friend Alana.  I spent two weeks at Jenna’s parent’s house that was on the beach at Pipeline, which was a lot of fun!

One day we hitch hiked to town to shop for some food and Alana said to me, “let’s go to Maui.” I said “sure, why not?”  We told the surfer guy who had picked us up, how we planned to go to Maui and that Alana needed a backpack and a tent.  The guy told us that he had a backpack that she could have.  We couldn’t believe it, we were so stoked!  After we returned from shopping, Alana went home and called me a few minutes later to tell me that she found a sleeping bag.  We immediately booked our flight and we were off to Maui.

Roasted Poblano Quinoa Salad We met a woman on the plane who had asked us where in Maui we were staying and we told her that we had no idea and that we planned to wing it.  She suggested that we should go to Paia and offered us a ride from the airport because there wasn’t any public transportation on Maui.  So, we took her up on her offer.  We saw a small campground close to town where we ended up pitching our tents.  We walked into town looking for a latte and something to eat.  There was a French cafe on one side of the street and a vegan cafe on the other.  We decided that we needed to eat and went to the vegan cafe first.

We started talking to the lady who owned the vegan cafe and she told us that she and her staff were all followers of the Essene religion.  This was the first time I had heard of it.  We told her that we had pitched our tents down the road and she encouraged us to go get our stuff before it got stolen.  She then offered us room and board in exchange for working in the cafe kitchen.  This was my introduction into sprouted raw food cooking.  We were so psyched!  We had lived with them for about a month when I just couldn’t take it anymore.  They had rules like no drinking and I wasn’t someone to be told what to do at the time.

Roasted Poblano Quinoa Salad Alana stayed on and I went and got a job at the French cafe across the street “La Vie En Rose”.  A guy who had owned the property behind the cafe rented small camping spaces and he had one spot available.  There were two small campers and 5 other people living in tents.  I loved it!  The French cafe was owned and ran by two Basque men who were a lot of fun and taught me about Basque cooking.  They had the best espresso and homemade croissants I have ever had.  I was in heaven!  I ended up working there for 6 months and had the time of my life.  The moral of the story is that if you take a leap of faith, things will usually work out better than you could imagine.  There is more to this story that I may divulge in a future post.  What leaps of faith have you taken that

What leaps of faith have you taken that turned out better that you imagined?

3U9A9985 Thanks for stopping by CaliZona! To see what’s going on, you can follow me on  InstagramFacebookPinterest, TwitterBloglovin‘ or subscribe by e-mail to get the latest recipes.
Roasted Poblano Quinoa Salad Recipe:

Approx. 8 Servings

This is a great summer Roasted Poblano Quinoa Salad with little gem lettuce, jicama, corn, red onion, jalapeno, queso fresco and an easy cilantro white balsamic dressing.

Quinoa
  •  1 Cup Quinoa – your choice
  • 1 3/4 Cups Filtered Water
  • 1 Bouillon Cube – vegetable – salt free
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1  Cloves Garlic -whole
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
  • 2 Small Poblano Peppers (it depends on how much poblano you like) – roasted – destemmed – deseeded – diced
Cilantro Vinaigrette – if you like a lot of dressing, I recommend doubling.
  • 1 Cups Cilantro Leaves – packed
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons  White Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 1 Small Clove Garlic
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
  • Dash Black Pepper
Salad
  • 3 – 4 Heads Little Gem Lettuce or 1 Small Head Romain – chopped into thin strips
  • 3/4 Cup Corn – fresh or frozen/thawed – or to taste
  • 1 Jalapeno – minced
  • 1 Cup Jicama – peeled – cubed
  • 1/4 Red Onion – thinly sliced or minced
  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro – roughly chopped
  • Queso Fresco – crumbled – to taste
  • Manchego Cheese – finely shredded – to taste – optional
Instructions:
Quinoa

First, rinse the quinoa well then add all ingredients except the poblanos into a small saucepan.

 Bring to a boil then mash the bouillon and cover the pot, turn to medium-low, then simmer for 15 minutes for white and 20 minutes for black. (I recommend using a timer)

When finished cooking, remove from heat and let sit with the lid on for 5 more minutes.  Let cool.

Peppers

Roast the poblanos on the stovetop on medium-high heat.  A gas stove works the best but it will work fine on an electric stove. Char the peppers on all sides turning with a pair of tongs.  When good and charred, steam them for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut to hold in the steam.

Take a paper towel and rub off the char.  It’s ok to leave a little of the char.  Slice in half and remove the seeds, stems and dice.

Vinaigrette

Add all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

Salad

In a large bowl, mix the poblano and lettuce into the quinoa.  Top with all the remaining veggies and serve with the vinaigrette and cheese on the side.

Roasted Poblano Quinoa Salad Health benefits:

Quinoa is a super food that is extremely nutrient rich as well as it is a complete protein source and high in fiber, which helps digestion and heart heath.   It contains more antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients than any other grain.  Unlike most grains quinoa has a significant amount of gamma-tocopherol of the vitamin E family, which helps some inflammatory issues.  It is a good source of magnesium that helps metabolism, cardiovascular, and blood vessel function, which is helpful for migraine headaches. Quinoa contains the antioxidant flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol even more than in cranberries.  It is helpful in regulation of blood sugar and also reduces your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

Poblano Peppers are extremely high in vitamin C; just one pepper has 95% of your daily value.  They are great for your immune system and help to reduce inflammation like in arthritis and asthma.  They are also helpful with the increase of oxygen helping the body to burn more calories 20 minutes after eating peppers.  They are full of vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium.

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Roasted Tomato Pizza with a thin Olive Oil Cracker Crust

Roasted Tomato Pizza I used Robby’s crust recipe for this Roasted Tomato Pizza that is yeast free, super thin, crispy and delicious!  This recipe originally started out as a roasted tomato cheese dip that I ended up morphing into a pizza topping instead.  I used Ancient Olive Trees Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the crust, the sauce, the roasted tomatoes as well as drizzling some on top of the cooked pizza.  The flavors of all the toppings are the perfect combination with this crispy olive oil crust.

Roasted Tomato Pizza I mentioned in my prior post that some of our friends had stayed at a campsite very close to our house.  Our friends Erin and Leif who had shown up for the day were planning a camping trip to Big Sur.  We were all chatting and Erin suggested that I should go with them.  I thought to myself, yeah why not!  A lot of our friends from Venice and Santa Monica (8 to 9 families) normally meet up twice a year in the summer to camp and surf together.  It’s so cool because we all have known each other since we were kids!  All our friends’ kids have known each other all their lives and they always have a great time together as well.

Roasted Tomato Pizza Monday morning, Erin and her friend Jen picked me up and we headed to Big Sur.  We had to drive around through Cambria due to all the fires that have been going on in the Big Sur area!  It’s so very sad!  After we arrived, we set up our tents and relaxed a bit enjoying the amazing view of the ocean before going to our friend’s potluck dinner.  There were about 15 of us at the potluck, eating, drinking and chatting around a fire.

Roasted Tomato Pizza The next morning, Erin made breakfast and we relaxed as we enjoyed our coffee.  The day consisted of a small hike to the ocean and more relaxing with a little wine.  It was overcast the whole time but it was still warm enough to enjoy ourselves.  Later that evening, we headed a few miles south of our campsite to where some of our other friends were staying.  It was at a huge multi-family campsite, where they hosted a huge potluck dinner.  There was fettuccine alfredo, enchiladas, rice and beans, all the meat you can imagine and a huge spread of appetizers.  We had a great couple of relaxing fun filled days.

Roasted Tomato Pizza I collaborated with Ancient Olive Trees, by using their Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the recipe.  Ancient Olive Trees is a Northern California based olive orchard and oil company.  They craft the olive oil with a tree-to-table approach.  What’s really cool is that they use early harvest Arbequina and Arbosana olives from 30 to 100 year old trees, which are pressed right after the fruit is harvested.  This is a high quality, super fresh and smooth olive oil that has outstanding flavors with a hint of grassy notes.  It truly is one of the best olive oils I have tried.

As you might know, I am all about organic so you might be wondering why this olive oil doesn’t say it’s organic.  They can’t sell it as organic because they don’t bottle it in an organic certified location.  Even though they can’t market it as organic, they do not use pesticides on their trees.

Roasted Tomato Pizza Enjoy a Tempernio or Chianti for a red or a Pinto Gris or Suave for a white wine.

Roasted Tomato Pizza Thanks for stopping by CaliZona! To see what’s going on, you can follow me on  InstagramFacebookPinterest, TwitterBloglovin‘ or subscribe by e-mail to get the latest recipes.

Roasted Tomato Pizza Recipe:

Makes 2 medium or 3 small pizzas

Pizza Dough – divided into 2 or 3 portions – or store bought
  • 2 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Filtered Water
Tomato Sauce – divided into 2 – 1/2 cups or 3 – 1/3 cups
  • 1/4 White Onion – diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Jar Strained Tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons Dry Red or a Dry White Wine
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Fresh Oregano Leaves
  • 1 Teaspoons Sea Salt or to taste
Roasted Tomatoes – divided into 2 or 3 portions
  • 8 oz. Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Garlic – minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • Dash Pepper
Cheese Mix – divided into 2 or 3 balls
  • 4 oz. Mascarpone
  • 4 oz. Chevre Cheese
  • 8 oz. Mozzarella – shredded
Toppings
  • 8 oz. Cherry Tomatoes – sliced in half
  • Basil
  • Arugula
  • Red Chili Flakes
Instructions:
Pizza Dough

Bread/dough making is never an exact recipe. The proportions of dry and wet ingredients are dependent on many factors including the temperature and humidity of your kitchen as well as the make up of the flour. You may need to adjust by adding additional flour or water to get the correct consistency during the kneading process.

In a medium bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients.  Next, measure the olive oil and apple cider vinegar into a glass measuring cup, then fill the rest with the water up to the 3/4 cup mark.

Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mix it with a wooden spoon or with your hands and knead until it has a smooth consistency.  If the dough is too sticky, add a little flour while you knead.  Roll it into a ball and put back in the bowl, then cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.

Tomato Sauce

Add the onion and olive oil to a straight sided pan and sauté on medium-low heat for 5 minutes then add the fresh oregano and garlic then cook until garlic just starts to brown.  Add wine and cook until reduced and it has a syrupy consistency.

Add wine and cook until reduced and it has a syrupy consistency.

 Pour tomato sauce into the pan and cook on medium to low heat.  Add the salt.  Cook until thickens about 20 minutes or longer.
Roasted Tomatoes
In a medium bowl, add tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper.  Spread tomatoes evenly into a baking pan. Roast tomatoes under the broiler for 4 – 5 minutes or until slightly blistered.  Take out of the oven and set aside.
Cheese Mix
Add the mascarpone and chevre in a medium sized bowl and mix together.  Then add the shredded mozzarella and mix well.  Set aside.
Pizza Crust

Separate the dough into two or three balls.  Generously flour the board and rolling pin then start to roll out one of the balls to about a 1/16 inch thick.  So, very thin.

Roll from the center out and continually adding flour as you lift and turn the dough.  This is to ensure it doesn’t stick.  Carefully slide the rolled out dough from the board onto the hot pizza stone.  Parbake for less than a minute, just until you see tiny bubbles.  Be careful, this happens really fast.  Carefully take out of the oven.

Parbake for less than a minute, just until you see tiny bubbles.  Be careful, this happens really fast.  Carefully take out of the oven.

Assemble
 If doing 3 pizzas, spread 1/3 cup of the sauce evenly over the crust or 1/2 cup for 2 pizzas.  Spread on your tomato sauce, randomly plop spoonfuls of the cheese mix around, then sprinkle the roasted tomatoes around. Lightly sprinkle on a little salt and pepper then, place it back in the oven for 6 – 9 minutes or until it looks good to you.

Take it out of the oven and top with the fresh tomato halves and basil then drizzle with a little more olive oil.  Cut and serve immediately.

Roasted Tomato Pizza Disclosure: Thanks to Ancient Olive Trees, for sponsoring this post!  Thank you for supporting the brands that make CaliZona possible.  Just so you know, I would never support a brand or product that I don’t believe in!

Health Benefits:

Tomatoes are great for the heart due to the extreme antioxidant support, niacin, folate and vitamin B6 that helps the reduction of heart disease.  They are also high in vitamins A, C, K and potassium.  The choline in tomatoes helps assist the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.  It also helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory.  Tomatoes are high in Lycopene the antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color.  Cooking tomatoes break down the cell walls, which helps to release the lycopene and is better absorbed by the body with a little bit of fat like olive oil.  The Zea-xanthin in them helps to filter harmful ultra-violet rays, which protect eyes from “age-related macular disease.”  They are also a powerful blood purifier and great for skin and bone health.

Hibiscus Hummus with Baked Pita Chips

This Hibiscus Hummus has a classic hummus taste with subtle tangy hibiscus flavor and a pink hue.  The additional flowers on top add a nice pop of color as well.

Hibiscus Hummus About a month ago, our friend Beto reserved a campsite for 2 nights at the campground that is right next to where we live.  I was so excited because no one has stayed there ever since we have lived here.   They showed up this past Wednesday afternoon along with Jill’s long time friend Maili.  After they had set up the tents and pulled out all the cooking supplies, our friends Erin, Leif and Taj showed up for a potluck BBQ.  We sat around the picnic table chatting while sipping on wine and watching Jill the master griller at work.  She cooked up a huge BBQ feast.

Maili had brought a whole lot of homemade sushi and a clam dip.  Erin brought a salad, chips and guacamole and I brought this hummus with baked pita chips.  Everyone also brought wine, of course.  It’s pretty cool when all your friends are really good cooks because the spread is always abundant and delicious. As always, there was a lot of great conversations and laughter.

The next day, our friend Jean showed up around lunchtime and Leif and Taj returned for round two.  The kids had the best time playing together.  It was another fun day of beach, food, wine and great conversation.

Hibiscus Hummus I enjoyed this hummus with my hibiscus tea and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.  It’s also great with a nice Rose.

Hibiscus Hummus Thanks for stopping by CaliZona! To see what’s going on, you can follow me on  InstagramFacebookPinterest, TwitterBloglovin‘ or subscribe by e-mail to get the latest recipes.

Hibiscus Hummus Recipe:
Approx. 2 1/2 Cups
  • 1 Cup Dried (2 Cups Cooked) Garbanzo Beans – soaked – cooked
  • 1 Cup Filtered Water
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Hibiscus Flowers
  • 1 Large Garlic
  • 1/2 Cup Tahini
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
Pita Chips
  • 8 Pita – cut into 6 to 12 wedges for each pita
  • Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
Instructions:
Preparing garbanzo beans
You can cook the garbanzo beans two different ways: one is a quick way, the other is by soaking the beans overnight which is better for your digestion.  This is how I prepare them, plus if you are going to make falafels, this is the way to go.

Place them in a large bowl and cover with filtered water, they will expand to over double their size, make sure you cover by several inches of water to allow for expansion.  Soak overnight for at least 12 hours then drain and rinse.

Quick method
Place the beans in a pot and cover with at least 2 inches of water above the beans and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let the beans soak in the warm water for 1 hour then drain the water and rinse.  Follow cooking the beans instructions below.

Cooking the beans

If you want extra smooth hummus you can do as Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi do from their cookbook “Jerusalem”  and remove the skins from the garbanzo beans.

Just add soaked chickpeas and 1 teaspoons of baking soda to a large saucepan over high heat.  Stirring constantly for about 2 – 3 minutes.  Covers the chickpeas by about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil and reduce to simmer on medium heat for about 30 – 60 minutes or until soft, depending on the type and freshness, sometimes even longer.  Skim off the foam and skins that float to the surface.  They should be very fairly tender pressing between your fingers but not too mushy.
(I have also removed the skins one by one by squeezing them between my fingers. Without the baking soda.)
or

Put the beans back in the pot and cover with several inches of filtered water.

Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer on medium heat for about 30 – 60 minutes or until soft, depending on the type and freshness, sometimes even longer.   They should be very fairly tender pressing between your fingers but not too mushy.  Pinch each bean to remove skins if desired.
Hibiscus
Put the hibiscus flowers and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil then remove from heat.  Let sit until it has cooled.
Strain the flowers and set the water aside.  Add the flowers and garlic to a food processor and mince as best you can.
Hummus
Add all the remaining ingredients and puree until smooth.  Scrape the sides at least once.
Optional – If you want to garnish with extra flowers you can repeat the hibiscus/water recipe.  It looks pretty but it does change the texture.
Baked Pita Chips
Turn down the oven to 350 degrees

Cut each pita into 8 triangles and place on one side of a parchment lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and salt and gently toss.  Bake for 11 – 12 minutes or until crispy.

Hibiscus Hummus Health benefits:

Garbanzo beans are super high in protein and extremely high in fiber, just one cup provides 50% of the Daily Value.  Because of the fiber, they are great for your heart, lowering blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart attack, as well as help, prevent constipation and digestive disorders.  Just one cup provides 84.5% of the daily value of manganese, which is an antioxidant that acts as a monitor of the free radicals in the body.  If you are low in energy the high iron content will help and will transport oxygen from the lungs to all the cells in the body.  They also help to balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy. Garbanzo beans are helpful for weight loss as they keep you full longer.

Hibiscus Flowers is a simple way to increase your antioxidant intake due to the high vitamin C content.  The antioxidant properties can help reverse the inflammatory process in your body and has the ability to lower high blood pressure.  It protects against chronic disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.  It helps lower “bad” LDL cholesterol from the body, therefore it helps protect against heart disease and blood vessels from damage.