Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Spicy Greek Chickpea Spread

My friend Cynthia sent me this recipe a few months ago, and I have been making versions of the original ever since. I have tinkered and tweaked so much that I guess you could I am addicted. The smooth and creamy chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans) are coarsely mashed and then turned into a cross between hummus and salad. Tahini, soy sauce, chili sesame oil and lemon juice are stirred into the mashed chickpeas and then tons of fresh vegetables and herbs are added to the dish.

The result is perfect as a spread for crackers or chips and is wonderful as a filling spooned into pita bread or piled high on toasted whole wheat bread topped with lettuce, sprouts, and tomatoes. I brought this to a dinner party last month where I was assigned appetizers, and every drop was gobbled up. (yes I am looking at you, Janelle :) ) I suggest adding this recipe to your gathering...maybe this weekend's Labor Day BBQ?

And, FYI, I just discovered chili sesame oil. This stuff is good! Spicy, hot and delicious, I have been adding to everything. It adds the perfect amount of heat with the nuttiness you expect from sesame oil. Try in stir-frys, salad dressings, marinades or spreads. Trust me, you need this in your pantry.

Spicy Greek Chickpea Spread
(six servings)

3 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1/2 cup tahini
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons chili sesame oil (or sesame oil and 1 tsp dried red pepper flakes)
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped cucumber (lemon cucumber if available)
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced
1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 cup cornichons, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Add chickpeas to a large bowl and, using a potato masher, mash until smooth but with a bit of texture. Stir in the tahini, soy sauce, sesame oil and lemon juice. Stir until the liquids are combined with the chickpeas.

Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Add additional chili sesame oil if you like it a bit spicier. Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours to allow the flavors to meld.

Serve with crackers, tortilla chips, stuffed in a pita or spread on toasted whole wheat bread topped with lettuce and sprouts.

Summer means easy, breezy dishes made from fresh, just-picked produce and this week at Food Network's Summer Soiree we are celebrating Labor Day DishesDo you have a favorite recipe for Labor Day? Please share in the comments section of this post. And be sure to check out the delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends and Food Network. 

The Lemon Bowl: Lemon Garlic Chicken Kabobs
Bacon and Souffle: 
Roasted Shrimp Orzo
The Hungry Traveler: 
Ginger Vanilla Fruit Salad
Homemade Delish: 
Festive Champagne Punch
Dishin & Dishes: 
Savory Tomato, Roasted Garlic and Mozzarella Tart
Creative Culinary: 
Zucchini and Cream Cheese Casserole
Apple-Pecan Chicken Salad
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: 
Batter Fried Pepper with Tzatziki Sauce
Healthy Eats: 
6 Fall-Forward Recipes for Your Labor Day Celebration
Domesticate Me: 
Lobster Avocado Toast
Taste with the Eyes: 
"Margarita" Salmon Burger with Tequila, Lime, and Hatch Chiles
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Grilled Shrimp & Peaches with Arugula Pesto
Red or Green: 
Spicy Greek Chickpea Spread
The Heritage Cook: 
Smoked Chicken Salad (Gluten-Free)
The Mom 100: 
Yogurt Berry Pops
FN Dish: 
The Last Hurrah: Grill Absolutely Everything on Labor Day


I have started sharing my newest blog "California Girl in Taos."  Please visit and let me know what you think.


  1. Oh My God !! These look incredibly delicious and i am sure that they taste as good as they look or even better. I will try them out and let you know.

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  4. Spicy Greek Chickpea Spread is a culinary delight! It's the perfect mix of Mediterranean flavors, and speaking of mixing, adding Las Vegas Raiders Letterman Varsity Jackets to the equation would be a touchdown. The spicy kick of the spread pairs wonderfully with the iconic team spirit, creating a winning combination for game day gatherings. This fusion of taste and style is a surefire way to score big with both your taste buds and your fan pride.