Ajvar, Tahina, and Hummus Recipes



3 – 4 (sweet) red peppers such as long or bell

2 small eggplants

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/4 c (60 ml) olive oil

1 tbsp (15 ml) apple cider vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

*If you want to make this a little sweet I think adding 2 soft or soaked medjool dates would be nice, or if you wanted it to be creamy you could try adding 1/3 c soaked cashews.


  1. Blacken the peppers and eggplants: If you have a gas range you can turn the burner on and blacken the pepper and eggplant skins directly on the flame, using tongs.  Otherwise, turn your oven to broil and on a metal baking sheet, place the peppers and eggplants and let them turn black.  Check the peppers every 8 – 10 minutes or so, turning them as needed to be sure all the skin gets charred.  The same for the eggplants but they will take longer. My oven is a bit weak so they took about 40+ minutes to fully char.
  2. When you remove the pepper and eventually eggplants, put each in a bowl and cover with aluminum foil for at least 5 – 10 minutes to steam and cool.  When they are cool enough to handle peel the skin off the peppers, discarding the skin and seeds, reserving the roasted pulp. Depending on how your eggplants char (i.e. soft charred skin or hard charred shell), in either case you want to remove the smoked pulp of the eggplant and reserve, and discard the skin.
  3. In a blender or food processor, add the pepper and eggplant pulps, crushed garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and a dash of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.

Salad of pomegranate, chickpeas, cucumber, celery leaves, and ajvar.



1 cup (~230 g) tahini

1 clove garlic, crushed

juice of 1 lemon, ~ 1/2 c (120 ml)

1/4 c (60 ml) water


  1. In a blender, mix the lemon juice and garlic.  Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve.
  2. Return the garlic/lemon liquid to the blender. Add the tahini and water. Blend until smooth.



1 c dried chickpeas (yields ~ 2.5 cups cooked)

3/4 c tahini tahini

juice of 1 lemon, ~ 1/2 c (120 ml)

2 gloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp cumin

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 c bean cooking water, more as needed*

1 tsp baking soda

Salt and pepper to taste

*  My blender is crappy so I needed more water to smooth the hummus but if you have a high-power blender or food processor you may not need more water.


  1. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl or container and soak in the refrigerator overnight. You can buy canned beans but I think homemade beans here really make a difference in creaminess and smoothness of the hummus. If using canned, at least slightly warm and rinse the beans in a pot on low heat before using.
  2. The next day, drain the chickpeas and place in a pot of water with at least 2 – 3 inches of water covering the beans.  Add the baking soda.  Bring to a bowl and then lower to medium heat.  Simmer until tender, which can take anywhere between 40 minutes to 1.5 hours. Check periodically, you want tender, almost falling apart beans.  The baking soda will help get the skins off.  Once cooked, drain to remove some of the skins and allow to cool slightly.
  3. In a food processor or blender, add the chickpeas, tahini, half the lemon juice, 2 cloves crushed garlic, half the olive oil, some bean water, cumin, and a good dash of salt and pepper.  Begin to blend, scrapping down the sides as needed so everything fully incorporates.  Give the hummus a taste at this point and add the remaining garlic, lemon juice, oil, more cumin and additional water as needed.  Let the blender or food processor run for a few minutes so that the hummus gets smooth.


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