I remember being told in marketing class back in graduate school that the fastest-growing food category in America was hummus. Hummus, our professor insisted, would soon be ubiquitous. I should have heeded his advice and leveraged that bit of 1991 foresight in some way.
Chances are that if you have been to any kind of gathering lately, you have partaken in a hummus and veggie platter. Stores are filled with endless varieties of premade hummus, and homemade recipes flood the internet. With protein- and fiber-filled garbanzo beans leading the ingredient list, it's a filling dip that turns baby carrots and bell pepper slices into a worthy snack that will actually fill you up a bit.
The problem is: You always have leftovers. At least we do. Usually, I serve a couple of varieties, along with a triple-sized stock of veggies, so having veg backup seems wise.
After one of those occasions, I had the idea to toss the leftover veggies into the hummus and roast them. The hummus clung to the veggies just enough to give it a caramelized and tasty crust, and with one recipe, two leftovers were used up to create a whole new side dish or appetizer: Hummus-Crusted Roasted Vegetables.
The key is to roast at high heat, and to preheat the baking sheet, which will accelerate the caramelization of the veggies. Usually, I just toss the vegetables with the hummus in a large bowl with my hands. But, I've also thinned out hummus with a few tablespoons of lemon juice or water to make a batter to coat the veggies more completely, like a hummus tempura. Either way works.