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Basics & Beyond: Taking a Dip

Basics & Beyond: Taking a Dip

Hummus, the earty "super dip", is full of fiber,folate and good flavor. Here are some unexpected twists to the classic recipe.

Micheline Piekarski, MSM, SNS
Director of Food and Nutrition Services
Oak Park & River Forest (IL) High School District #200

“Monthly ‘You Can Cook’ demonstrations encourage kids to make healthy food choices. They see how easy it is to follow recipes that use only a few fresh, natural and healthy ingredients.

“Normally, we buy hummus already made, and sell it in a 4 oz. cup with cut vegetables, but for one You Can Cook demonstration, we made hummus from scratch and it was a big hit. The kids got the recipe to take home, as well.

“As an added bonus, hummus is a perfect choice for students who are on a gluten-free diet.”

Cori Thomas
Foodservice Director
Natividad Medical Center
Salinas, CA

“When we first offered hummus recently, many of our customers didn't know what it was. So we gave samples of hummus with celery sticks. Now, people can't get enough of it, especially since a lot of our customers are trying to eat better.

“We posted nutritional values and Weight Watchers points with the hummus and started selling ⅓ cup portions with a combination of carrot sticks and celery sticks and it has been a huge hit. It's a great snack item for hospital employees. Some employees here are in a weight loss competition, and the hummus is a way to get an edge! Once people picked up on how healthy hummus is, it got even more popular.

“Next, we are going to try it in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches — both regular and vegetarian — as a test.

“Right now we purchase prepared hummus, but we'd like to try making our own soon if we find it to be cost-effective.”

Joseph M. DiPhillipo
Executive Chef
Restaurant Associates
Credit Suisse
New York, NY

“We serve hummus in a variety of ways and in a variety of flavors. Our customers can find hummus on our salad bar, falafel bar and also as a grab and go item.

“It's easy to create almost any flavor profile you can think of to hummus, and we add quite a few different ingredients.

“Our flavors include classic hummus, roasted garlic, roasted red pepper and basil, lemon pepper, herb pesto, sundried tomato and oregano, and lemon artichoke.

“We also make variations on hummus with edamame and fava beans, and we also do a version with some heirloom beans, such as Butterscotch Calypso (an heirloom bean from the 17th century with a firm texture and flavor similar to a baby red potato).

“At the grab-and-go station, we pair hummus with cucumbers, carrots, Belgian endive spears and traditional crackers. Hummus works great as a spread for sandwiches and wraps, too.”

Not Just a Dip!

While hummus is traditionally served as a dip for pita or flatbread — or veggies — there are many more foodservice-friendly ways to use it.


  • • Spreading hummus instead of mayo on a turkey sandwich.
  • • Using hummus in place of tomato sauce on a pizza or flatbread.
  • • Topping toasted slices of ciabatta bread and Parmesan cheese with hummus, tomato and feta cheese for bruschetta.
  • • Giving hummus a Mediterranean accent by adding rosemary, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and garlic.
  • • Adding new flavors to hummus as the mood strikes you: roasted red peppers, pesto, cilantro, jalpenos, sun-dried tomato, fennel seed, spinach, artichoke hearts, zucchini…

Find recipes for these ideas and more at (Source: Erik Henry, director of foodservice, Bush Brothers & Company)


Bean and Carrot Hummus  
Tunisian-spiced Raisin Hummus  
TAGS: Menu Trends
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