Getting kids to eat nutritious food can be HARD. One of my clients has two young children, and while one will eat most of what’s put in front of her, the other has much more “discerning” taste. If it isn’t topped with cheddar cheese, or drizzled with ketchup, honey or maple syrup, there’s a good chance it’s going to end up moving around the plate.
Wanting to incorporate the beautiful eggplant that’s in season in Ontario right now, I recently made a roasted eggplant hummus for the family. The hummus had a fantastic creamy texture from the roasted eggplant; however, the sharp flavour of the raw garlic I used was really off-putting for the kids, one of whom asked me quite seriously “why did you make this?”. You’ve got to love kids’ honesty!
I actually thought the raw garlic taste was a bit too strong as well, and so tried to think of a way to subdue its acridness while maintaining garlic flavour in the hummus. And then I realized I could roast the garlic along with the eggplant, to take away its bite and add more natural sweetness.
With roasted garlic, the hummus turned out 100% better, and, to my amazement, the sweet-toothed kids actually really liked it. Something that kids (and adults) will enjoy that has protein, fiber, vegetables, and is free of any added sugar…that’s a huge win!
Roasted Eggplant Hummus
Serves 4 – 6
1 medium-sized eggplant, roughly 1 pound (450 grams)
3 cloves garlic, separated from head, skins intact, with the root end trimmed off
1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. oil
¼ tsp. salt
1-15 oz can chickpeas, roughly 2 cups (450 grams), drained and rinsed
3 – 4 tbsp. water
3 tbsp. tahini
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. salt
Roast the eggplant and garlic: Preheat oven to 400F; Cut eggplant in half and score flesh 3 times in one direction and 3 times in the other to resemble a diamond pattern; On each eggplant half, brush 1 ½ teaspoons of oil and season with 1/8 teaspoon of salt; Place halves, flesh-side up, on a parchment or foil-lined baking tray; Toss garlic with 1 teaspoon oil and wrap in tinfoil; Place this tinfoil garlic packet beside eggplant; Roast vegetables for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the flesh of the eggplant is soft and has developed a caramelized crust; Remove pan from oven and allow eggplant and garlic to cool slightly.
Combine the chickpeas, 3 tablespoons water, tahini, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, cumin, and salt in a blender or food processor.
Once the eggplant and garlic have cooled, scrape the flesh of the eggplant away from the skin and squeeze the garlic from its skins; Add eggplant and garlic pulp to the blender with the other hummus ingredients; Process until smooth; Adjust the consistency with another tablespoon of water if necessary.
Garnish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a light dusting of cumin.