Lemon Walnut Hummus


Kelly Rossiter Photo
Kelly Rossiter

Difficulty Level Easy

Here's a simple way to usher in the summer. Invite a few friends over to celebrate the Solstice with you and have an informal get together with some simple food. Head out to the wine store and get some organic wine and then make this easy hummus. We once spent the Solstice with my sister-in-law in London, England. She lived across the street from Primrose Hill, which is the highest point in London. Sure enough, come evening, Druids took over the Hill in their flowing robes and blue faces and lit a bonfire. It was pretty impressive and my children were totally amazed by the spectacle. For your party, you can make blue face paint optional.

This hummus is very quick to make and has quite a different taste from the traditional recipe which uses tahini. Here the tahini is supplanted by walnuts, to a very delicious effect. I didn't puree it until it was entirely smooth because I liked a bit of crunch from the walnuts. You can use it with pita bread in the usual way, or treat it like a dip for those fabulous spring vegetables that are available now. I'm going to try it with the asparagus and the sugar snap peas I got this week at the farmers' market. Just blanch the vegetables in boiling water for a minute, run cold water over them when they are done and you are ready to go.


1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 garlic cloves,coarsely chopped
1 tsp sea salt, plus additional to taste
1 package pita bread


  1. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the walnuts for 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to ensure even browning. Transfer the nuts to a sieve to cool.
  2. Add the cumin and coriander seeds to the skillet and toast for 30 seconds. Transfer to a spice mill or mortar and pestel, add the cayenne pepper, and grind to a powder.
  3. In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, oil, lemon juice, garlic, ground spices and 1 teaspoon of the salt.
  4. Rub the walnuts against a sieve over the sink to remove most of their papery skins. Add the skinned walnuts to the processor, and puree until smooth. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the hummus is thicker than you like. Season with additional salt, and serve with pita bread.

    From Fresh Food Fast by Peter Berley

This recipe appears in: Dips & Spreads
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