Spring forward with a leisurely lunch

Hummus with Preserved Lemon & Beet Chips served alfresco
Hummus with Preserved Lemon & Beet Chips served alfresco

Sundays are great. Wake up late. Drink coffee. Play with your chickens. Watch some of the LA Marathon on TV from the comfort of your air-conditioned home. Spend the day doing whatever you want. Maybe you’re hungry? Take an inventory of supplies, listen to some music in the kitchen, and 2-3 hours later you have lunch. Why not? This time of year there is that whole extra hour of light in the evening.

The actual day we spring forward is, for the record, my least favorite day of the year. I hate getting swindled out of that hour. (On the contrary, the day we fall back is my FAVORITE day of the year! I planned my wedding around it.) So, I don’t take extra time to make a leisurely lunch on that particular Sunday, since I’m instead resetting all of my clocks and meditating on my Waste Land-length rant about the loss of that hour.

I made lunch today, when I’d just about gotten over it.

The large supply of preserved lemons I prepared several weeks ago had finally pickled enough to be  ready for culinary dispatch. And it inspired me to take up pen and spatula and share my Hummus with Preserved Lemon recipe. I like to scoop it up with beet chips. Sometimes a girl has got to replace some grains with some veggies. And with their pretty, pretty ruby cast and delightful crunch beet chips do the job.

Martha Stewart has a nice, simple method. You need a good mandolin for this (or a really sharp knife and sober hand) to slice the beets 1/16 of an inch thick. I find that some of the beets chips take a little longer to cook than others. My beets are different sizes to begin with and oven temperatures can vary, so I recommend gauging doneness by sight rather than time. Since I’ve got the mandolin out and everything is already covered in hot pink beet juice I double the recipe. I slice up 4 beets and cook them in two batches.

While the beets are cooking you’ve got plenty of time to make your hummus and dance around the kitchen. Or clean it. Whatever. It’s sunday, so throw some chardonnay into the mix and get down with your leisurely lunch.

I’ll warn you; beets stain. If you like that effect, skip the henna paint.

Beet stained "henna" finger tips
Beet stained “henna” finger tips


Hummus with preserved lemon

By Published:

  • Prep:

The addition of preserved lemons gives this hummus an extra savory bite.



  1. Gather your ingredients. Homemade preserved lemons are terrific to use. But if you don't have them on hand they can be found in some supermarkets, either with the canned food or I've even seen them on some salad bars.
    Hummus with Preserved Lemon ingredients
  2. Scrape the pulp from the lemon rind and discard or save for another use. You are left with just the rind, which is what we want. Chop it up and place it in a food processor with the chickpeas, garlic, tahini, and lemon juice. I use the juice of 2 lemons 'cause I like things lemony. Process until almost smooth.
    Preserved lemon, prepared for Hummus recipe
  3. Add the cumin and a few grinds of salt. Place the lid on the processor and add the EVOO with the motor running. Do the same with the water (or the reserved liquid from the chickpeas) until the hummus reaches the desired consistency. Since I'm already using tahini I don’t find it necessary to add too much more fat to make the dip smoother. Adding water instead of more olive oil does the trick. Some recipes recommend using the drained liquid from the chickpeas. That works too.
    Hummus with Preserved Lemon preparation
  4. Top with a drizzle of EVOO and a sprinkle of sumac or chopped flat leaf parsley. Serve with chips, pita, or veggies as you like. www.yourgardenvariety.com
    Hummus with Preserved Lemon & Beet Chips served alfresco

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3 thoughts on “Spring forward with a leisurely lunch

  1. Michelle, You never cease to keep my total attention with your writing and pictorial account. I love the story; hate the day we move the clock forward or backward. Don’t like change. I always do like Sundays for the very reason you write; calm and restful with the right amount of creative time. However, when I was working, I hated Sunday nights; all that crap I left on Friday is waiting for me tomorrow morning. Keep writing.

  2. I love cooking for hours on Sundays and making the entire house smell good. I also loved this hummus! The lemon really does give it a nice tangy flavor. I wonder if it would be good with oranges…

    1. Ooo, yum. I think preserved oranges could be put to good use. Maybe a sweet and tangy spread or topping? Sounds Christmasy.

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