3 Hummus Recipes for Carrboro’s “Market Bunch”



First, let me thank the wonderful managers and support staff at Carrboro Farmers’ Market for making class time happen in the first place. It isn’t without a lot of planning, funding and support help that these classes happen at all. Kids are amazing when you give them a few choices about their food. They eat better than you would expect when good alternatives exist.

Second, I want to take a minute to thank the photographer Jenny Jaskolka. She came in at the last minute to help me and did a really wonderful job. There are so many photos I didn’t have space to use! It’s quite hard to get these pictures because all of us are moving around so quickly. As I always ask, please respect her artistic talent and photo copyrights. Ask permission before you use her work from this piece.

As school started back in the fall, the  Carrboro Farmers Market staff decided to add a line-up of classes after-school. Having hit a home-run during the summer season with their Saturday cooking program they thought they might give their kids another opportunity to hit it out of the park during the Wednesday afternoon markets for a few weeks while the weather was really nice.







I tried to come up with something fun that the kids could make their own and use for lunch or after-school snacks. And hopefully that will be the last of the sports references. But seriously, parents have a difficult time figuring out all the meals that kids eat on a busy day without it getting boring. My suggestion; Pick a couple of favorites and have the kids alter the ingredients at least once a week on the same recipe. It’s pretty easy to do with the seasonal vegetables at the market.


As the kids arrive, they wash their hands at the neatest little hand-washing station. Once the kids have their aprons tied, hands washed, and safety rules reviewed, we’re able to start chopping vegetables.


IMG_7756.JPGWith plenty of room in the gazebo, all of the kids had an opportunity to chop, sauté veggies, measure spices and blend. Tasting spoons are on hand for the kids to test as they are blending so they can adjust the salt, pepper and other spices in the recipe and note changes.  


While I was going through ideas for the hummus I thought I might use lentils instead of chickpeas and tahini because many kids don’t like those two flavors.



Three ideas that I came up with using IBM’s Chef Watson seemed perfect for the class. There was a lot of chopping, seasoning and blending for each. The kids can adapt the recipes as we are cooking to the veggies we picked up at the market and the spices we have available. 


And hummus is a great make ahead snack for lunch containers where each person can add a little more or less spice to their portion.








When you think of hummus, you probably think of tahini and chickpeas. But these recipes focus on lentils and seasonal veggies for flavor and color. The lentils are less bold than chickpeas and still blend smoothly with a variety of cooked vegetables. They are nutritious, inexpensive, used throughout the world and easy for young hands.



We focused on three types of lentils for class: red- which are really kind of orange juice colored, French- which are like dark murky water colored, and golden- which are the color of the sun.




The flavor and texture of each of these lentils is important to the type of vegetable we added for each recipe. But each recipe is designed to be modified throughout the year and even use frozen veggies if there is one you like more.


Veggie broth was used to cook all of the lentils, but water or chicken/rabbit stock works equally well. All three types of lentils were cooked until they were soft so they would blend up well with the vegetables  using a small food processor. The red ones take the least amount of time because they are just smaller. And they work well with winter squash, summer tomatoes or cauliflower in soups. The yellow lentils can be cooked until they are barely soft and served as a substitute for couscous. Their flavor is creamy. Kind of like grits, which is probably why I like to use them so much at home. The French lentils are generally used in soups to add some body and they stay firm in the broth.


Of course, the market managers always have some activities planned to keep the kids engaged and when class is over, the kids are given tokens to spend with the vendors. All of these activities are funded by the market through the market’s ‘Perennial Program’ and annual ‘Harvest Dinner’. I would encourage you to look at the classes for your school aged children and at supporting the market’s funding through any number of programs.


PattyPan Squash & Golden Lentil Hummus


  • 1/2 cup raw Petite Golden Lentils
  • 1 1/3 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups chopped raw Patty Pan squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw sweet onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon dried Aleppo chile
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil


  • Prepare lentils by simmering in stock with the lid on the pot for about 15 minutes until quite tender making sure to avoid burning. Let them sit with the lid on the pot until you need them so they do not dry out.
  • Slowly sauté the onion and squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, oregano, cumin, coriander, chile, salt and pepper until they are very soft, about 15 minutes.
  • Combine 1/2 cup of the cooked lentils (there will be leftover lentils) with the cooked squash and onion mixture along with the dried pear and 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil into a small food processor and blend until creamy.
  • If the mixture becomes too thin, add more lentils. If it becomes to thick and doesn’t seem light, add a bit more olive oil.
  • Season with additional salt & pepper to taste. Serve.

Link to inspiration recipe for PattyPan Squash Hummus from IBM Chef Watson:


Butternut Squash & Red Lentil Hummus


  • 1/2 cup raw Red Lentils
  • 1 1/3 cup water or vegetable stock
  • 1 – 1 1/3 cups roasted butternut squash or 2 cups raw chopped
  • 1 – 3 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup raw chopped sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans (or almonds)
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried pear
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger – optional
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (optional topping for serving)


  • Prepare lentils by simmering in stock with the lid on the pot for about 15 minutes until they are quite tender, making sure to avoid burning. Let them sit with the lid on the pot until you need them so they do not dry out.
  • Slowly sauté the onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil until translucent and soft.
    If using raw butternut squash, either roast it with maple syrup and olive oil or sauté it slowly with olive oil until it is quite soft.
  • In a food processor, blend 1/2 – 3/4 cup of cooked red lentils (there will be leftover lentils) with the butternut squash, onion, maple syrup (if you didn’t roast it with maple syrup), cooked onion, roasted garlic, cumin, raw or toasted pecans (or almonds), dried apple, additional olive oil and fresh ginger (optional) until smooth.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, starting with about 1/4 teaspoon salt & 1/8 teaspoon pepper. This will be a little more sweet than savory.
  • To make it a bit more savory, top with a bit of toasted sesame oil before serving.

Link to inspiration recipe for Butternut Squash Hummus from IBM Chef Watson


Eggplant, Pepper & French Lentil Hummus


  • 1/2 cup raw French Lentils
  • 1 1/3 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup grilled, sautéed or roasted Fairytale / Rosa Bianca Eggplant (1 cup raw chopped)
  • 1/2 cup sautéed or roasted Pimente or other sweet pepper (1 cup raw chopped)
  • 1/2 cup raw chopped sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon dried Aleppo chile
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (eliminate if fresh is not available)
  • 2 juniper berries, chopped or ground
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon sweet Hungarian Paprika
  • 1/8-1/4 cup dried apple
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  • Prepare lentils by simmering in stock with the lid on the pot for about 15-20 minutes until they are quite tender and leave the lid on as they rest.
  • Slowly sauté the onion, sweet peppers, and eggplant in olive oil until they are tender. Be sure to use a Rosa, Fairytale or other light skinned eggplant which has a mild flavor and is less bitter than the traditional dark purple eggplants. The skins are thinner and the flesh has fewer seeds and is less bitter by using the mixed skin or lighter purple eggplant and the sweeter pimento and Italian peppers. You can add salt and pepper to this process.
  • In a food processor, blend 1/2 – 3/4 cup of the cooked French lentils (there will be leftovers) with the eggplant, peppers, onion, chile, parsley, juniper berries, dried apple, 1/4 teaspoon salt & 1/8 teaspoon pepper with the additional 3 tablespoons olive oil until smooth.
  • The amount and variety of dried apple will change the flavor of the recipe.
  • It may be possible to substitute apple juice or unsweetened plain apple sauce in this recipe.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and sweet Hungarian Paprika.
  • For additional heat, try adding some red pepper flakes or add some hot smoked paprika.

Link to inspiration recipe for Eggplant Hummus from IBM Chef Watson

IBM Chef Watson is free to anyone with a FaceBook account. It uses the recipes from Bon Appetit as a base for creating new recipes along with lots of other data. You can use it to help you change an existing recipes or create a new one. The interface is simple enough for

This entry was posted in Appetizer, Diabetic Friendly, Events, General, Lunch, Recipes, Second Harvest, Sides, Snack, Vegetarian, Year-Round and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *