Orange Scented White Bean Hummus with Kale & Mint Pesto, Honey Candied Jalapeños, and Pomegranate Seeds

Something tells me I won't be letting go of Christmas anytime soon...

Okay, so this doesn't really taste like Christmas, or winter at all. In fact, it's probably the most summery dish I've made all year. 
But it still looks like Christmas, and I love it.

Lately, I've been so into citrus, especially oranges. I think it's just all the heavy, warm comfort foods that have got me craving something fresh. 
Actually, I've used them way too much in recipes this past month. Like here and here and here... and here.
Even with the slightest squeeze of juice, it can make such a difference in any dish.

This recipe happened by mistake, though. I guess you can say everything happens for a reason because we were out of all of the ingredients I had planned to use. First, we ran out lemons and the only other citrus in the fridge was oranges. I though I could just use it in replace of lemons and just carry on with my normal idea- Basil Pesto Hummus with Pomegranate Seeds.

After trying the hummus, which I had to use white beans for because we were also out of chickpeas, I could taste the slightest hint of orange, so I just had to go with it. 
I added a little more orange zest, and then went with a kale & mint pesto, mainly because we only had a tiny amount of fresh basil, but partly because mint and orange is possibly my favorite combination using citrus. 
Well, part of it.
My favorite is basically this hummus- orange, mint, honey, jalapeños, and berries.
The perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and tangy.

Even for those who don't like spicy, you really need to use the whole jalapeño, seeds and all, to help balance the sweetness of everything. 
And don't forget to have a heavy hand with the salt, either.

White Bean & Pesto Hummus with Candied Jalapeños and Pomegranate

  • 2- 15 oz. cans great northern beans (or any white bean)
  • 2 lemons- juiced
  • 3 garlic cloves 
  • 1/2 large orange juice + 1/2 orange zest 
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • sprinkle black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil 
Blend in food processor until smooth and creamy- 3-5 minutes. Refrigerate until cold.

  • 1 cup tightly packed chopped kale
  • handful mint leaves (about a packed 1/4 cup)
  • small handful basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. orange juice
  • 1/4 cup parmesan
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tbs. water
Blend in food processor until a thick and smooth consistency. Add a little olive oil if too thick.

Candied Jalapeños:
  • 2 fresh jalapeños- halved
  • 1 tbs. honey
  • 1 tbs. water
  • pinch of salt & pepper
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
Deseed but set the seeds aside. Thinly slice the jalapeños into strips. Sauté in a heated pan with the oil over medium-high heat until slightly charred. Turn to medium heat, add honey, salt and pepper, and water. Stir until honey is completely broken down and the jalapeños are coated and sticky- about 2 minutes.

Swirl pesto into hummus. Top with jalapeños, 1/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds and a sprinkle of dried mint flakes, or 1 tbs, chopped fresh mint. 
Serve with pita chips or choice of crackers- we were out of pita chips (of course), so I used garlic herb crostinis.

                                                                                                   -Cecilia A.


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