hummus heaped with tomatoes and cucumbers

Like clockwork every summer, I decide that the only thing I want to eat, maybe forever because when it’s warm out I completely forget winter is coming (I’m sorry, I had to), are variations on tomato-cucumber salad. We did a world tour of these last year and it might take me another decade of Smitten Kitchen-ing but I will get to them all. Left to our own devices, my husband and I probably would probably eat do exactly this for dinner at least a couple nights a week but when feeding kids, I always feel the need — I mean, what are they, growing rapidly and we’re supposed to fuel them with balanced meals or something? — to provide a little more than a bowl of cucumbers and tomatoes for dinner. You know, protein and stuff.

swirl of hummus with olive oil, za'atar

In the U.S., we generally think of hummus (which simply means “chickpea” in Arabic) as a cold snack, a dip you buy in the fridge case to help distract you from, say, cool ranch potato chip dip or something. But throughout the Middle East, there are hummusiots/hummsias, places that serve hummus warm and freshly made, often a little softer than what we get here, usually heaped with other things. Yes, as a meal; a heavenly one. Toppings might include additional tahini or chickpeas, cooked fava beans (ful), sautéed mushrooms, roasted beets, hard-boiled eggs, falafel, spicy ground beef, chopped tomato-onion-cucumber salads, pickles, and/or green olives plus always a stack of freshly baked puffy pitas. In some areas, hummus is a breakfast food, accompanied with labneh and mint. And it is from daydreaming about all of this — with a reminder from this oh-so-tempting Ina Garten photo from last week — that I realized that the easiest way to turn my tomato-cucumber salad obsession in to a meal was to serve it hummusiot-style.

all my prettiesme hiding from red onions that make me crytomato, cucumber, red onionplus herbs

This could not be simpler to pull off for dinner tonight: chop some tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion and dress it lightly with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and parsley (or a mix of parsley, mint, and chives, as I did), toast some pitas, scoop some hummus onto a plate, pile it all together, and dig in. Repeat until September.

hummus with tomato-cucumber salad
hummus with tomato-cucumber salad

But — surprise, surprise — I got a little carried away. Should you wish to as well, here are two ways:

pre-peeled chickpeas, cooked and drained Homemade hummus, either your favorite recipe or mine: I’ve mentioned before that my favorite way to make hummus is a little persnickety, but for me, completely worth it: you peel the chickpeas. However, I picked up some dried already-peeled chickpeas (whoa) at Kalustyan’s and an hour or so of simmering later, blended up some unspeakably good hummus.

yogurt flatbreads Make your own pitas or crisp flatbreads. I show here some yogurt flatbreads, but I’m being a terrible tease because they’ll be in this little thing that comes out in October. (I might have mentioned it once or twice before, heh.)

Hummus Heaped with Tomatoes and Cucumbers

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

This is so simple to make, it’s almost a non-recipe, but after sharing the cooking of this on Instagram last night, I received such a happy swarm of recipe requests, and I know it can help to have things in detail, I wanted to write it up. Salads like this are very flexible; I sometimes add bell pepper, other times radishes, and when I can get them, pomegranate arils. The key thing is that you want to chop everything very small; it should be scoopable. For a more fall-ish salad, I’d use this. If you’re looking for more protein (and of course are not trying to keep this vegan), hard boiled eggs are a popular hummus topping. If you’re looking to add meat, it’s not uncommon; I’d start with this lamb-lentil mixture.

  • 4 large pitas, toasted, cut into wedges
  • 2 cups prepared hummus (from this recipe, your favorite recipe, or your favorite brand)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (8 ounces or 225 grams) cherry tomatoes, chopped small, plus more to taste
  • 8 ounces (225 grams) small cucumbers, washed, unpeeled, chopped small
  • 1/4 medium red onion, chopped small
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Sumac and/or za’atar (optional)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, or a mix of parsley, mint, and chives, plus more for garnish

Spread hummus on a large plate with the back of a spoon, creating swirls and cavities. Drizzle it lightly with olive oil, just to freshen it up.

Mix tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, lemon, about 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, plus salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. If you have sumac, add about 1/4 teaspoon. Stir in herbs. Heap salad on hummus, arrange pita wedges all around. Finish with additional za’atar, sumac, and/or fresh herbs.

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197 comments on hummus heaped with tomatoes and cucumbers

  1. Caroline G

    Yum! I just made the Zahav hummus recipe from food52 and it was divine. Whipping the tahini with water and garlic infused lemon juice is genius (and life changing!)! Also serve your hummus warm people- so much better! Can’t wait for the new book, Deb!

  2. Rachel

    Perfect! My neighbors just brought over a huge bag of tomatoes from their garden for us. Now I know what to do with them. Thanks!

    1. Helen in CA

      So jealous. I’ve got another month before there are tomatoes where I live (Northern California). So there’s only store tomatoes sigh.

  3. Considering that “hummus + summer squash saute” is a leading contender for dinner tonight, it would seem that we’re in the same headspace. I do like the idea of parsley/mint/chives, which might need to work its way in…

  4. Anne

    I’m spending time with my daughter in NYC starting this weekend & we’ve already plotted out my first-ever trip to Kalustyan’s–it’s all I’ve been able to think about all day–and I am *so glad* to learn I can get chickpeas already peeled. Because I’m with you, and have always peeled my chickpeas ever since I read about it here. (Anything else I should know about before heading there? I’m already prepared to be overwhelmed!)

    1. deb

      I am so excited for you. First, do a spice inventory and bring the list, they have everything. Did you know there are at least 5 types of za’atar? Don’t worry, it’s pretty organized, ingredients are listed and staff is helpful. Second, if you’ve ever wanted a certain kind of rice or flour or lentil or bean, do know that you’ll find it. Third, get lunch there. I love the soup and the samosa. There’s a tiny cafe that nobody notices upstairs. The mujudarra is often very good too. You’ll be so full if you get all three; no matter how small they look, they should be shared. Fourth, go back downstairs and get a mixed box of baklava. They have like two kinds from every country. I didn’t even know there were so many. It may not be the “best best” but it’s such a treat. Then on your way out you can load up dried fruit and Turkish delight and more. Madhur Jaffrey cookbooks look down on you at the registers and you’ll know you’re in the best place.

  5. One of life’s cruelest jokes is having little girls who love hummus but break out in spots when they eat it. Choco tacos for their dinner, instead. Speaking of, did you see the Choco Taco article from last week? Maybe it was in Eater?

      1. I had not seen the recipe. Thanks for the link. Love her stuff.

        It’s definitely the chickpeas, and I know this for a fact because my father brings pounds of halvah from the shuk when he visits – just last month, in fact – and there’s no reaction from the halvah. When I know they won’t eat the dish I’ll add chickpeas. I made a scrumptious chard and chickpea stew last week I knew they wouldn’t touch and I enjoyed every mouthful. I won’t have hummus in the house, though, because that means I have to eat it after they’re in bed so they won’t know about it.

        1. Lillian

          I feel your pain! My husband is allergic to chickpeas too, one of the only things he became allergic to as an adult and thus actually misses (his other allergies started when he was an infant). If your up to making your own hummus, I suggest trying red lentils as a substitute for the chickpeas. I’ve seen suggestions for edamame or white beans, but personally think the texture of the lentils is closer to that of chickpeas than other subs. They do have a slightly more distinct flavor than say, white beans do, but it complements standard hummus ingredients well.

          For making the “hummus”, I’d guess that 1/2c dry lentils cooked yields similar to 1 can of chickpeas; I usually do 1c dry and wind up with way too much. Cook the lentils with just enough water that they’ll absorb it all (I think I use closer to 1:1 ratio than to 1:2? Took some fiddling), and of course you don’t have to worry about them falling apart because that’s what you want them to do anyhow! Then proceed with your favorite from-scratch hummus recipe.

        2. Allie

          What do you mean by spots? My little girl has very sensitive skin and gets red marks all around her mouth (and sometimes the rest of her face) when she eats hummus but after awhile I realized it’s the lemon juice in it touching her skin. As long as I wipe her face quickly, the spots disappear in an hour or two.

    1. Melly

      Also consider making this with baba ganoush (eggplant dip) or muhammara (walnut red pepper dip) or perhaps half on each side of these! A yogurt based dip or labneh would also be yummy protein base.

  6. merryf

    Aaaaaand you must have read my mind because I’ve been delving into the SK archives searching for some cold salad lunch options that will suit a bunch of women coming over for a crafty day next Sunday. My cucumber plants keep gifting me with gorgeous specimens and now I can make them into a meal instead of handing them to my husband to snack on. Thank you for coming to the rescue!

  7. Boop

    It helps to use a whisk to peel the chick peas. Stir them with a large whisk in a pot or bowl with a bit of water (to keep them moving and from being crushed). Tap the whisk free of any caught skins as you go. Still tedious, but easier than peeling by hand.

  8. Lindsay

    I’ve been doing a similar thing all summer in more of a Mediterranean style by adding in kalamatas, feta, and Greek seasoning. So good.

  9. this is genius! I only ever dip things into hummus or occasionally put it on bread, but I LOVE this idea with salad or other toppings on it so much! I make a tomato cuke salad almost every day. I was planning to make it for supper tonight with grilled corn on the cob and rely on ice cream for protein (that’s legit, right?), but maybe I should put the salad on top of hummus.

    1. smittycdm

      What a great idea! My husband and I spent 6 hours *skinning* those Rancho Gordo chick peas (aka garbanzo beans) Thx for the idea!

  10. What else to eat in summer than hummus – same here. I’ve made it for my twin babies, they loved it one night, scooping it out of tiny (plastic) glasses with grissini sticks, smiling at me and I thought, jackpot, I figured t out. hummus & presentation are key. Next night, very different picture where our wall got a new pattern. I am trying again tomorrow, thanks for reminding me how great this stuff is in summer!

  11. Becksa

    Wait, should the hummus be warm? What is the best way to warm it up? I love warm hummus on a pita sandwich, but I accomplish that by warming the pita, which in turn warms the hummus.

    1. deb

      It doesn’t need to be. If you’re making it fresh, go ahead and not wait for it to cool. If you’re buying it, get it to room temperature if you can, but it’s not necessary for this dish to taste good. It’s just more traditional that way.

      1. Becksa

        Thanks! I love hummus warm on a sandwich as I said, so I think I would really like it warm here, but I’m going to use some store-bought I already have. Maybe I’ll toss it in the microwave for a few seconds.

  12. Alice K.

    Love this! I now make my own humos (using Deb’s recipe, which includes peeling the chick peas ((I know, but I’m retired, I have time))), and soon will have my own tomatoes. Right now I have loads of cucumbers, and I will be happily eating this meal with store-bought, then home-grown tomatoes soon. Thanks, Deb. BTW We often have humos as an appetizer when the main dish doesn’t seem to have enough protein.

  13. Vicki

    A little off topic, buuut … I love the idea of triumphant cookery! Who doesn’t need a little more triumph in the day? “Here we are, folks, it’s dinner, and it’s a WINNER!”

    1. deb

      Thank you! It took forever to get the title right (probably 200+ versions) and as soon as I said it, I was like THIS. I didn’t want to describe the food — I mean, every cookbook cover does that — as much as I wanted to talk how it feels to pull off making something you love and are excited to eat. Can’t it be about us, too?

  14. J

    Yay! Lebanese and I approve :) Warm hummus with slightly spicy ground meat and pine nuts is so good, but some people I’ve told about it look at me like I’m crazy – it’s a traditional mezze dish in the Mid East! Would take hummus with fancy toppings any day over “hummus” recipes that don’t even include chickpeas. Thanks for sharing, love your blog!

    1. Matilda

      Warm hummus with spicy ground meat is one of the best things I have ever put in my mouth! I would make it for dinner every week if only my kids would eat it.

  15. Emily

    Ooh, are you getting Milk Street? I loved their big feature article about hummus. Who knew that people eat it warm? And for breakfast? So interesting. Also thought it was cool how few ingredients most people used in the hummus itself.

  16. zarahmaria

    Ooooh, this looks amazing! I haven’t tried peeling my chickpeas, but ever since I tried making hummus the Ottolenghi way – he uses baking powder to soften the skins – I’ve gotten hummus as smooth as silk! Just a suggestion, for those of us that can’t easily come by peeled chickpeas, and aren’t retired yet (like a previous commenter said ;))

  17. sfb

    Speaking of tomato and cucumber concoctions– have you have kachumbar? It’s more of an relish than a salad to be eaten by the spoonful, but it’s a vinegar/onion/tomato/cucumber garnish that my mom always made with various curries and lentil-based dishes. Recommended!

  18. Cy

    I eat tomato cucumber salad all summer too, until the tomatoes are no more! As I always say to cook” at our work cafe, “That is not a tomato ” ( looking at the mealy paler thing is tries to give me). I’ll go without 😊Perfect idea, thanks, Deb. And I’m even going to make it your way. Your baked chickpeas are one of my favorite recipes! It is so much better using dried.

  19. CourtneyL

    I literally just got home from work, saw this and made it stat with half a tub of lemon hummus, cucumbers languishing in my fridge since the weekend, and the tomatoes on my counter. Pickled red onions and basil instead, and tortillas because flatbread is flatbread. Thanks for the reminder on how to make a healthy and no-cook dinner on a Tuesday night.
    P.S. Also, pretty excited for a yogurt pita bread recipe and the new cookbook in general!
    P.P.S. – I never comment, but just FYI, you and I are on a pretend first-name basis in my house. I tell people I got recipes from Deb, like we are friends.

    1. peterrigano

      My friends and I do the same thing! I have a whole cast of imaginary kitchen friends – Deb, Rose (Levy Beranbaum), Kenji (Lopez-Alt, et al.

      1. deb

        💙 But does it confuse the people you live with when you’re like “But Rose Levy says to…” or “Kenji’s oven wings are…” (the bees knees, by the way)

        1. sshapiro87

          All of the big people in my life know who you (Deb) are.. obviously. You’re a fixture! Thank you for being awesome!!

          1. 2Alexs

            I can’t believe (well, I can) other people say things like that. My husband now says, “You notice I had the idea before Kenji…” when he used the OXO cookie turner for eggs. But we call you Smitten. I’ll try to train him to say Deb (no Lovey, not Smitten, Deb!) grin

  20. Bridgit

    We were planning hummus, veggies, grilled pita, and salad, so this was just on time. This inspired me to do things a little differently than I planned, and we ended up with a kale salad (chiffonaded, because I like the way the kale breaks down like that) with zucchini, white onion, shredded carrots, parsley, and mint. My 9-year-old was my taster, told me it was great, and that “the parsley really makes it.” She had me put more carrots in, and then *had* to taste it again, just to make sure it was right. The lemon juice and olive oil dressing we so easy and absolutely perfect! Thanks for the inspiration.

  21. Olivia

    It’s been a little over a year since I moved away from NYC and am still missing having Kalustyan’s in my neighborhood! I used to stop there all the time to grab spices and dried beans. In the back of the first floor, there’s a refrigerated section with excellent dolmas and all sorts of other dips – perfect for a quick lunch or dinner!
    I moved to Philadelphia and this recipe makes me think of Dizengoff, one of Michael Solmonov’s restaurants (other than Zahav…). It’s entirely hummus with all sorts of wonderful toppings. They recently expanded to NYC (Grand Central I think) – it’s definitely worth a trip for fabulous hummus and pillow-y pita along with delicious and inventive toppings.

    1. Lau

      Wow thank you. Visiting Philly and I see Dizengoff’s is within walking distance. Will be there tomorrow. Thanks for making my mouth water at 2 am 😁

      1. sshapiro87

        Dizengoff is in Chelsea Market in NY, and they have a takeaway option for the Zahav lamb shoulder (or delicious weekend dinners at the counter in Chelsea Market)… all totally worth any stop (and about as good as Zahav in Philly)!

      2. I could give you an entire list of places to go to Philly. Hummus at Dizengoff is very good. Mama’s has the best felafel. Go to Ranstead Room for a cocktail. I’ll stop now because it’s so off topic.

  22. Karen H.

    Look up “chana dal” on Amazon for dried, peeled garbanzos. They have many different brands and they make silky smooth hummus.

  23. PG

    “But throughout the Middle East, there are hummusiots/hummsias, places that serve hummus warm and freshly made, often a little softer than what we get here, usually heaped with other things. Yes, as a meal; a heavenly one.”

    This is now a thing in DC!
    If you’re ever headed to DGS and then decide you don’t want fancy deli favorites, you can detour to its basement for hummus.

  24. peterrigano

    The best ideas often seem obvious in retrospect.

    Thanks Deb, this was perfect and will surely become a staple of my “too cheap to order takeout; too hot to turn on the stove” menu.

  25. Steph :)

    And did you “toast” the pita on a Foreman Grill, or the like?! #genius! Can’t wait to make this wonderful recipe!! Thanks, Deb! :)

  26. Beautiful, I bought a new food processor and I think with right ingrediants in proper proportion I can make something as good as this. Thanks alot for sharing your side of the story it looks very delicious and tempting.

  27. Gerri Dauer

    Perfect! I could live on hummus alone! But sometimes I try to put with some veggies to be more healthy. This looks like the perfect lunch.

  28. Dale saffir

    Already peeled chickpeas! What a game changer. I’m one of those people who painstakingly peel off the skins of my cooked chickpeas to make hummus. When I go onto the Kalustyan website it doesn’t indicate which chickpea product is skinless. Could it be the split ones?

  29. Bina

    This is almost exactly what a Middle Eastern friend used to bring to potluck dinners. She would also add chopped olives, toasted pine nuts and some crumbled feta – the genuine stuff, not the overly salty supermarket version. Whenever it was there, it was all I ever wanted to eat.

  30. Kate Ralton

    Looks absolutely delicious! I was recently in Perth, Western Australia and had a delicious meal at the Hummus Club in Northbridge – a bed of hummus topped with freekah, charred broccoli, lentils, toasted slivered almonds, currants, red onion and dill… yum!!

  31. This reminds me of breakfast at the hotel I stayed at in Jerusalem. And yes, I could eat the same thing–hummus with chunks of tomatoes and cucumbers–all day everyday.

    1. deb

      I wasn’t sure because the package said it would take 45 minutes to 1 hour to cook and I figured if it was that short, presoaking wasn’t necessary. (But it took longer.) Honestly, 95% of what presoaking does is reduce cooking time; it’s always faster if you presoak. It can also help get really old beans soft, which can otherwise to take forever to cook and you rarely know how old beans are when you get them.

  32. Suzi

    Re: picture of the babies. That hair, that gorgeous, wild, independent, RED HAIR! And BTW, What a lucky little sister. That picture should be enlarged, put on canvas and hung somewhere in a nanosecond.

  33. Marlana

    Deb, I love making scratch hummus, but I don’t have time to peel the chickpeas. Were the peeled ones you used labeled as such? I have a good market nearby that might carry them.

    1. deb

      Not sure where you live but check or call any local Middle Eastern or Indian grocery near you and ask about prepeeled chickpeas. Mine were labeled and the store knew exactly what I was looking for. Often labeled as chana dal (which are peeled and split but will work the same).

  34. I thought I loved your original hummus recipe enough, and then you had to go and do this! I just bought an outdoor pizza oven so I can make pita bread and pizza in the summer without becoming a hot mess in a sweltering kitchen, and without having to rely on my grill, who is a finicky old girl. I think I’m going to have to make this as soon as I figure out how to use the darn thing (and build a table for it as well, seeing how it’s a tabletop pizza oven, it kind of needs a table 😆). I

  35. Jennifer

    Made this for an “appetizer day” at work today. It was the only thing that got completely devoured! It’s AH-MAY-ZING! (OK, maybe I ate half of it on my own.) So glad I made a double batch of hummus and bought enough cucumbers & tomatoes, because I’m making my husband eat this for dinner tonight while the kids are still at the grandparents’ house!

  36. Claudine

    Deb, this recipe has finally motivated me to purchase a food processor. Any favorite brands/types, that I could also grate carrots on and make pie dough with? Thanks!

    1. deb

      I only know what I have, which is a Cuisinart. I love it, it’s one of the most heavily used appliances in my kitchen, but am a little freaked out by the new models (which have many extra parts — I don’t even know where to put them, they look like they take up more space than the machine!).

  37. Elysa

    Hey Deb, I’ve taken to buying my tahini online because prices on local stores are so high. There seem to be a lot of mixed opinions on Amazon about which brands are good – do you have any recommendations?

      1. Hi Deb! Thanks so much for the reference <3. Elysa, Soom really is a great product if you haven't tried it yet. It offers a very silky and smooth consistency and really makes a differences in the quality, taste, and texture when you make hummus :) Let me know if you have any questions!

        Julie, on behalf of the Soom Crew

  38. Tina Berry

    This looks to me like your Israeli Salad, which, along with your Ethereally Smooth Hummus, has been my summer dinner choice for a couple of years …like, all the time. I always have both in the fridge. Thank you from the bottom of my licked bowl!
    PS: the Israeli Salad was my intro to sumac. I lobbied the food co-op for a year and voila! We have it in the bulk herb/spice section. I use it on chicken, fish, corn on the cob…yum!

  39. Elysa

    Wow, I just made this, and it’s really good! Like, I was expecting generally fresh and tasty, but this tastes just like a dish at a really good local Lebanese restaurant. I used a healthy amount of oregano as the only herb in the salad, and some smoked paprika on the hummus. I loved the lemon juice base, though – all my tomato/cucumber salads use vinegar, and the lemon really changes things.

    Your hummus recipe is the best I’ve found. I’d given up on homemade hummus for a while, but your recipe actually tastes like what I was aiming for, even without shelling the chickpeas. So happy tonight!

  40. Sara U

    I had so much fun making mark bittman’s grilled flatbread recipe from NYT and rolling it out w my kid.

    This is so inspiring and such an incredibly flexible dinner idea. I added chopped marinated chicken and it was a delicious dinner! I’m a big fan of za’atar now! Which is good because I bought a whole bottle :-)

    Thanks Deb!

  41. Anne

    I made this for my lunch today, and it was OMG good. It’s an instance of delicious separate parts coming together for something that was so much more. Can’t wait for the yogurt flatbreads and an excuse to do it again.

  42. Lissa

    Holy beans this is amazing. It may just be because I’m both hot and hungry, but this also might be my new favorite thing. I even pared your recipe way down (working from memory and with limited supplies): green onions, only dressed with olive oil, no spices except whatever’s in my store-bought hummus. My “flatbread” is a hunk of the everyday pizza dough (I make a double recipe at least once a week and find that, fridged, it makes at least 6 pizzas-for-one) with olive oil and salt on.

    Perfect light summer supper, thanks Deb!

  43. greyfavorite

    Deb, this looks wonderful, but my real comment here is say I love that you are so persnickety but you feel compelled to use the British variant, pernickety.

  44. Judy Kahn

    Hi. Love the post- you spelled persnickety incorrectly above. If you’re interested in me editing your posts, please let me know. I’m an English teacher in Edison, N.J. who loves cooking and great recipes, and I also happen to have quite an ability to find those little errors in grammar and spelling.

    1. deb

      Ha — thanks. Let me know at any point about typos you see. I tried hiring an editor at one point but it only works if I can put a few hour or more delay between writing and publishing; I never have that kind of time. So we all have to suffer my typos until I have a better system. :)

  45. Mary

    Absolutely lovely. Just the best Hummus – even peeled the chickpeas! This will become a well used recipe. Thankyou for this great addition to the family table.

  46. Erin

    This looks delicious!! I will definitely have to try it – the tomatoes & cucumbers remind me slightly of a recipe from your cookbook I tried last night – the seared halibut with gazpacho salsa and tomato vinaigrette. It was OUT. OF. THIS. WORLD. Honestly, I don’t know how it’s possible for food to taste that great. Even my 5 and 2 year old boys liked it! It was my first time ever cooking fish besides an oven-roasted salmon here or there. It was the quintessential summer dish and I am thankful you shared it with the world!

  47. Linda O.

    A swoon-worthy, easy-breezy delight. I made the tomato, cucumber and onion mixture the night before so it had the chance to marinate. The lemon juice really enhances the flavor of the salad mix – so good! This recipe gave me the opportunity to use up some leftover Sabra Roasted Pine Nut hummus (yeah, not homemade, but darn good). I can’t say enough how very delicious the combination of creamy hummus with the bright crunch of the chopped fresh vegetables is. I foresee enjoying this again and again. : )

  48. Jamie

    Tomatoes and cukes forever and ever, amen. But, I never thought to serve it up on hummus, which we all love and will now try. Thanks! I recently started mixing some cooked quinoa into my hummus for extra protein – I enjoy it, but for the texture-adverse it might not work so well. = )

  49. Susan Manuel

    You had me at hummus + tomato + cucumber, but when you mentioned za’atar, I fell into a swoon I have yet to recover from! A co-worker of mine is from Israel and when he visits there, he brings me back a bottle of za’atar-infused olive oil. I don’t even need to cook with it; I can just savor the aroma, though somehow it always gets used up before he takes his next trip. Earlier this year, I was searching for za’atar seeds to plant in my herb garden but couldn’t bring myself to spend more for shipping a single packet than the cost of the packet itself.

    I searched Kalustyan’s in Google and found they have a website for online ordering and see I can order za’atar ready to use, no growing required. I’m jealous of you being able to eat lunch there though.

  50. Ttrockwood

    I’ve been converted to the Zahav hummus, which is very similar to yours but the straining of the garlic gives it a more mild flavor
    I have been ordering hummus plates since forever, Nish Nush is one of my most favorites but i certainly make them at home for summer dinners- usually with a pile of herbs and veggies too!

  51. freddsterskitchen

    This hummus looks out of this world with the tomatoes and cucumbers, definitely going to try it out asap!

  52. Vikki

    You just keep knocking it out of the park. Perfect for the dog days of summer here in the deep south. Love it. Thank you.

  53. Sam Heindel

    I made this on Friday evening for some friends — it was simple, delicious, and filling. I would definitely make it again and TBH, not surprised, Deb. You literally always kill it.

    I added a layer of whole fat greek yogurt atop the hummus for richness and baked my own pita chips for some crunch.

  54. Ginger by Choice

    I adore everything that is just a bit related to meze, these wonderful small dishes from the Near East! That’s why I totally love hummus! It’s always wonderful to find a new interpretation. Thanks soooo much for the recipe! I’ll definitely have that for dinner tomorrow …

    Ginger by Choice I Food & Lifestyle Blog

  55. Lisa Massoud

    I’ve found a whole new way to love hummus…. thank you! Can’t wait to try it with the lamb and lentils! My husband is half Lebanese and approves!

  56. PenFox

    Deb (and other chickpea peelers)!

    I made the hummus, and found that this was a super fast way to get those chickpeas peeled: pressure cook (I used my Instant Pot) for 10 minutes (I started with hot water and added the baking soda). The chickpeas will be firm but the skins will rub off. You can rub handfuls of them off between your hands in a bowl of water, and the skins float to the top. Pour off the skins and repeat. Then cook the chickpeas the rest of the way (I did another 10 minutes in the pressure cooker while I diced garlic, squeezed lemon, measured tahini and chopped tomato and cucumber). Super fast and easy.

  57. Lauren

    Found both za’atar and sumac at Penzey’s spices. Also found Diamond Crystal salt( in case anyone read that blurb of Deb’s on one of the recipes in this week’s e-mail) at Stop&Shop. I feel as if I have hit the mother lode this week! Pickles and hummus now possible for the rest of the summer. Woo Hoo!

  58. Marisa

    How far in advance can I make this? Taking a road trip for family reunion… can I make it Saturday PM and serve Monday if I keep it cold?

    1. deb

      I prefer to keep the hummus and salad separate until serving. I also prefer to not dress the salad until closer to serving it because the salt and vinegar can make tomatoes seem soggy after an hour or so.

  59. Alice K.

    Excellent summer supper! Made Deb’s hummos (even peeled the chick peas, but I have time, I’m retired…) and made the salad with tomatoes and cukes from my own garden. Loved evey bite. Thanks, Deb!

  60. pbfiend

    This was so easy, so fresh, so delicious. Wonderful quick dinner on a summer night. Will make again and again. (I used store bought hummus and didn’t regret it.)

  61. For me, there’s nothing better than pureed chickpeas and tahini, topped with whole chickpeas, with fried chickpea fritters on the side (i.e. hummus masabacha with falafel).

  62. JamieinPDX

    Deb-withdrawal here. Haven’t seen you post the next recipe for TEN DAYS IN A ROW. I’m dying here. Any chance you’re just on vacation? ;-)

    1. deb

      I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to but my life got completely taken over (as in, the vegetables I’d bought for other recipes going BAD in the fridge, it was terrible) by making a wedding cake for friends last week. I did nothing else. I am coming up for air now and hope to share everything tomorrow, and I’m already back to cooking (non-rotten) vegetables today. Can’t wait to catch up.

      1. JamieinPDX

        It’s Harry Potter’s birthday. Who am I to argue against cake, especially today of all days? All is forgiven. (And you are not terrible! Never!) I hope you enjoyed the making of said cake as much as the eating of it! <3

  63. Cathy

    Made this for a family reunion this weekend and everyone loved it! My daughter said it was a work of art and decided to have a plate for dinner, passing up fajitas. Delicious!! Thanks.

  64. We had a cold front move through the other day, so I took advantage of it and cooked up a large pot of cheesy polenta for dinner. I’ve been enjoying cold polenta cakes piled high with cucumber tomato salad for lunch since then, feeling fancy and somewhat smug.

  65. Looks so good! I made hummus your way a few years ago and found it took me much longer than it took you, but was in love with the texture. What is the brand of peeled dried chickpeas you found? Would love to try them.

    1. deb

      It doesn’t have a brand name; I got them at Kalustyan’s, which packages them up themselves (from a central supplier, I’m sure). You should be able to find them pretty easily at a Middle Eastern or Indian grocery store.

  66. Mimin

    Good morning Deb, am a big Smitten Kitchen fan for years. Look forward to your new book in the fall👏 Am on my way to the city and want to make a stop at Kalustyan’s. Get overwhelmed by the choices. What do you consider a ” must buy” when I’m there? Saw that you got your dried garbanzo beans there. Am planning on French lentils and tellicherry peppercorns…..what else is a must? Thanks for always inspiring! A fan, Mimi

  67. Hillary Waldron

    Hahaha I came to your site specifically because I have a bunch of tomatoes and cucumbers, and I was thinking “Deb will know what to do.” So funny this was the first thing I saw!

  68. Anastasia

    I just went online to see where I could buy the peeled dried chickpeas and found this video from America’s Test Kitchen.

    They have found a way to quickly peel CANNED chickpeas. I am so trying this today.

  69. Jules

    OMG – this was delicious! I am not generally a cucumber fan, but when cucumber arrived in my CSA box, this seemed like a good option.

    For gluten-free eaters, I cooked a pot of quinoa, stirred the hummus into the quinoa and used the quinoa-hummus mix to line the bowls and heaped the salad in the middle. Armed with a spoon, it was perfect.

  70. Hindie

    Oh my goodness…this recipe is totally speaking my love language. Hummus *and* Israeli salad at the same time? I know what’s for dinner tonight.

  71. You are not alone on that cucumber-tomato train, lady. It’s such a satisfying summer meal option!

    I recently listened to the Milk Street podcast where they talked about this warm-hummus-for-breakfast thing they have goin’ on in Israel and haven’t forgotten about it since. Dizengoff in Chelsea Market serves one topped with spiced ground lamb and it is divine <3

  72. You had me at the photo! I wrote the ingredients by hand, working on being legible (which is a challenge for me) because this is now on the menu tomorrow—after I visit the market in St. Augustine. We live on a boat. This recipe meets the requirements for being a Go-To for me. I was looking for more Go-To recipes. Thanks

  73. Yummy. Two thumbs up for Sunday dinner. Also, the leftover veggie mixture was added to al dente fresh green beans to go with Monday’s eggplant parmesan. For the win.

  74. Anne

    This time of year I’m always on the lookout for a nice garden supper, and this is it tonight….even with making the pita breads and making the hummus (complete with peeled chickpeas, naturally) it was two hours start to finish to pull everything together and a lot of that was waiting around time. And the entire salad came out of the garden! This one is going straight into the rotation.

  75. Made this for my book club dinner and it was a big hit. I happened to have some gigantes lima beans that I had overcooked and used them to make the hummus – worked great! I made falafel also (from a mix) and the hummus platter with the tomato/cucumber salad, kalamata olives, falafels, hummus, pita (store bought) & hard boiled eggs looked beautiful and got lots of compliments. Will be making this again as a weeknight dinner with storebought hummus. Great recipe for those of us who are trying to go to a more plant-rich diet.

  76. Susan

    This looked so pretty, I had to try it. At the last minute, found I had no garbanzo beans( I ALWAYS do), so used vegetarian refried beans, and it worked. Different taste, but pretty and people loved it. Next time – hummus.

  77. Lindsay

    I made this no less than four times this summer. It’s simple, satisfying, and show-stopping on each and every occasion! I cannot get my hummus as smooth as Deb’s is in the photo, but peeling the chickpeas really does help with texture.

  78. Just made this tonight. The only tomato I had was a sad looking roma and it was still amazing! I ate until I had a stomach ache. This will definitely get made many times this summer.

  79. E

    I’ve made this twice in the past two days since I saw it on insta. One of the best things I’ve ever eaten. I’ll be making it again today – thank you!

  80. Sarah

    I made this last night. I tasted it after adding the fresh parsley/mint and decided it was too delicious to add za’tar!! I made it super easy for myself and used store-bought hummus, pita chips, and red bell peppers cut in big chunks for scooping up the deliciousness!!!! This is definitely a keeper :-)

  81. There is really no need to peel the chickpeas. The trick that people use here in Jerusalem, which I learned from my Turkish-Israeli mother in law, is after soaking the chickpeas overnight, let them soak in a tablespoon of baking soda for 10 minutes or so. Rinse off the baking soda and then cook the chickpeas. Smoothest Hummus ever! Mom friendly, no wasted time peeling chickpeas. More Details on my blog

  82. Gabrielle Schapira

    I made the tomato salad the other day (with store bought humus as I was looking for a quick dinner) and it was perfection. Delicious, great for a light, fresh tasting meal. I added hard boiled egg slices on top and this added a lovely creamyness. Next time I will plan ahead and make your humus with it.

  83. Sally

    I keep thinking that I should just add some diced green bell pepper, feta, and kalamata olives and have Greek salad on hummus.

  84. Sophia Weston

    This is the best hummus I’ve ever made and ever had!! You rock, Deb! Thank you!! Peeling the skins is brilliant, and makes all the difference.

  85. Katie

    This recipe… pealing those stinkin chickpeas… even with almost too far gone tomatoes and regular old cucumbers has changed my life. Geez this is delicious and likely my new fave keep-in-the-fridge-all-the-time go to lunch/snack/dinner. Thank you!

  86. Linda Grimes

    Made this yesterday for a cocktail party and it was soooo good. Peeling those little buggers is kind of a pain, but it sure makes for creamy hummus. I made a big “batch” and left half of it plain and threw roasted peppers in the other half…so creamy and pretty. Also did your zucchini fritters and they were a big hit. A good time was had by all!

  87. Lauren

    made this last night with your hummus recipe as well as chicken souvlaki from the cookbook Vefa’s Kitchen, which is an endless source of recipes that can easily be tweaked or left as-is and they always turn out beautifully. Just wondering — have you ever made your own (or eaten) “bomba calabrese”? I used to order it with pita at a Turkish cafe in Brooklyn years ago when I lived there — now I’m on the opposite coast and I can’t seem to find this anywhere! I’ve seen it jarred on Amazon but have no idea where to start — would love a recipe or any insight you might have! PS – it is truly to die for mixed with tzatziki!

    1. deb

      Just Googling it now and I have a jar of it, but haven’t made it at home. I should. Peppers are so easy to grow and I always end up with too many.

  88. Rosey

    This is such a delicious and flexible idea! I didn’t have any fresh herbs or red onion on hand, but it still worked beautifully with a little diced red bell pepper and garlic cloves. This “concept” recipe is a real winner; thank you!

  89. Roxanne Luffred

    I can’t even tell you how much I love this. I think about it all the time and trying to decide how often I can make it! I will definitely be making for dinner at home, when friends and family are here and going to parties…wow… I have been following you forever and I love your talent.

  90. Susan

    Delicious, but I had a problem with a lot of liquid pooling around the hummus (store bought ) from the tomato mixture Looked unappealing after a
    short bit and got the flatbread soggy. Any way to prevent?

  91. Priscilla

    This has been one of my favourite things to make over the last two summers, both for solo dinners and for brunch buffets with friends. It gets rave reviews and I love the fact that I don’t need to stand in a hot kitchen to make it! My adaptations: I make the tahini and hummus from scratch, more or less according to your recipe except that I never bother with peeling the chickpeas and I like adding a generous sprinkle of roasted paprika for some spice. For the salad, I do the usual tomato, cucumber, onion, but I also add chopped and fried crisp kebabs, and then I finish up with fresh coriander, mixed dried herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil and lime juice. The kebabs make it truly sublime. I’ve eaten it with the homemade rosemary flatbread and store bought pita and both work, but my latest variation is to have it with a spiced whole-wheat kulcha. I usually add a dip made of hung curd/yoghurt-tahini-garlic-lime on the side. It’s the perfect summer meal!

  92. Deb Evans

    Delicious and so easy. Looks like far more effort than it actually is. I will make this often this summer. My friends loved it!

  93. Kathleen

    Plenty of protein in this dish for the kiddos. I totally know what u mean about eating it all summer! Sometimes I’ll act recklessly with a little feta, or some good black olives, and toasted pine nuts. Heaven!

  94. John Haven

    Can’t wait to make this! I do have a quick question, however. Your Etherally Smooth Hummus is my go-to, and I use the peeled/dried chickpeas from Kalyustans. You mentioned you just simmered them for an hour – do you skip the soaking with the peeled/dried? My soaking always has led to a bit of a mushy affair, between that and the simmering. Thanks, as always, for yet another fabulous recipe!

    1. deb

      I skip the soaking 90% of the time I cook beans. You can do it or not do it; it merely takes longer to cook if you don’t soak. Some people feel beans have a better final texture if soaked first but I think that matters more with older beans, and never for hummus. Enjoy!

  95. AG

    made this for years, made it last night, making it again tonight for the second time in a row because it’s way too hot for anything else. the best!

  96. Paula

    I think you could substitute baba ganoosh (eggplant dip) for the hummus. I prefer it to hummus and it would be one more way to dispose of all the egg plants produced in my garden.

  97. TG

    This is my favorite thing to make on hot summer days. I eat it for dinner and for lunch when I’m working from home. I don’t like raw onion so I add scallions instead. I also add a little feta. I usually eat it with Triscuits because I never have pita bread in the house, but I always (always!) Triscuits. It’s messy and delicious and perfect for summer.

  98. Lindsay

    We just made this recipe + your gyro chicken salad marinated chicken for a family
    Birthday party and wow. It was all amazing. Not flavors we typically eat and everyone was wanting something different. We were just so thrilled with the way everything tasted! We made a recipe of whipped feta as well, and omg. Perfection. Thank you!

  99. Penny Lamping

    I have made this at least 3 times in the last month only instead of hummus I use your home made ricotta! I whip it with a little water, olive oil and lemon zest. It is soooo good!

  100. Katie

    I made this as an appetizer for a party—every spoonful was eaten and 3 people asked for the recipe. Super quick to throw together and tasty. A mix of yellow and red tomatoes with the fresh herbs makes it “pop” and look really appetizing. This is my new go-to for potlucks.

  101. Brenda

    You can buy dried skinless chickpeas at East Indian food stores…they are called Chana Dal and come in plastic bags. They are split chickpeas and have no skins. Because they’re smaller they only take under an hour to cook to the mush stage you want for hummus. I usually cook four times what I need and freeze 1.5 cups in zip lock baggies so it’s ready to use when I want it. They freeze well and keep for months.

  102. Dennis Johnson

    My wife has an aversion to cucumbers, so I use finely diced zucchini instead. The zucchini bits go very well with the other ingredients. Also, when I make this I often serve it as a “handheld”. I warm the pitas, halve them, then gently open the pockets. I liberally smear hummus on the insides, then spoon the salad in to fill them. Yum!

  103. Marisa

    Just made this tonight! Used your hummus recipe too and served grilled chicken with it. Such a beautiful and delicious dinner. Thanks for a kid-approved recipe.

  104. Bee

    Delicious!!! But defitinley best served immediately after making salad, otherwise the salt brings out the liquid in veggies and it turns the appy soupy and not attractive. BUT its delicious, so i think next time i may even chop and place veg on paper towel will im ready to serve.

  105. Stacy Koehn

    This is so good! A whole new fresh version of hummus with veggies and pita. The smaller dice/chop is key. Served with toasted Naan Bread rather than Pita for a decadent twist. Loved every bite and can’t wait to make it again ASAP.

  106. Stacy Koehn

    This is so good! A whole new fresh version of hummus with veggies and pita. The smaller dice/chop is key. Served with toasted Naan Bread rather than Pita for a decadent twist. Loved every bite and can’t wait to make it again ASAP. Trader Joe’s Mediterranean Hummus is a great substitute for DIY – smooth and creamy – allow to stand at room temp before serving. Makes all the difference as Deb says.

  107. Jake

    I’ve made (a variation on) this for lunch twice now – hummus, tomatoes, cucumber, pickled onion, goat cheese, and a soft-boiled egg – and it is so good. Top tier food concept. Comes together fast, lots of cool crunchy vegetables, feels decadent to scoop up with a pita and shovel into one’s face.