A number of years ago, when I was 15 and in high school, I got my first real job at a bakery down the road from my house. It was actually the worst job ever; long hours, minimum wage, 5am shifts––on every holiday too, and dealing with customers who wished to argue the price of a 75¢ donut, are you kidding me? One day after a long shift, my mom and brothers were all out, so my dad picked me up and we went to a new Greek restaurant a few towns over to get dinner. I'd never been to a Greek restaurant before––my experience with the cuisine consisted solely of ordering Greek Salads in diners on occasion. So, naturally, I was too chicken to try something new and just ordered a salad––but let me tell you, it was the best damn Greek salad I've ever had. My dad frequented Greek restaurants at the time, so he ordered a huge doner and a platter of hummus and warm pita bread. He made me try some, even though I wanted nothing to do with the mushy looking, gross colored dip. Reluctantly, I took a bite, and out of embarrassment for how badly I didn't want to try it, I almost didn't even want to tell my dad how much I loved it! It was the most incredible thing I'd ever tasted, I wanted to eat the rest of the plate! Story of my life––I never want to try new foods and then when I finally do, I realize how much I love them and then I feel stupid for not trying them sooner. A week later, my cousin and I went back to the restaurant for lunch and just ordered hummus––we practically licked the plate clean. Since then, I've loved hummus, but to this day, I've not had better hummus than at that restaurant. Sadly, after my Whole30, I discovered that chickpeas are not my friend, and that was the end of hummus for me––but I couldn't live without it. I tried making Paleo versions of it with zucchini, eggplant, and even beets but the flavors were all too overpowering for my taste––I just wanted hummus. I finally tried using steamed cauliflower and it was the closest thing to hummus I've tasted! It's delicious! I gave some to my dad yesterday for the first time, because I haven't made it in some time, I told him that this was as close to hummus I could get without using chickpeas and he said "close to hummus? This IS hummus!" He was so excited, so I was really excited too. Now, I don't know exactly if cauliflower hummus counts as SWYPO or not, I feel like it's kind of a gray area. Yes, all of these ingredients are Whole30 compliant, but yes, this is paleofying a non-Paleo food. I have no problem eating this while I'm doing a Whole30––I think it's totally fine, because I know what chickpeas do to me and I know that nothing would make me go and eat some real hummus.... except a trip to Greece, because then I'd totally eat all of the hummus I could get my hands on, without a doubt! I'll leave it up to you whether to have this during a Whole30 or wait until day 31 or so, either way––enjoy!
Prep Time: 10-12 min Cook Time: 5-7 min Total Time: 15-19 min Yield: 4 cups
1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets (~8 cups of florets)
¾ cup tahini
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
4-6 cloves garlic
4 tsp cumin
1½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp paprika
¼ tsp cayenne, optional
Steam cauliflower florets for 5-7 minutes, until soft, but not mushy.
While the cauliflower is steaming, pour tahini into a food processor and process until it is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Crush the cloves of garlic with the side of a large knife, place into a small skillet over medium-high heat and toss for until fragrant, about 15-20 seconds, and remove from heat.
Add the garlic to the tahini in the food processor and pulse until smooth.
Place the steamed cauliflower florets into the food processor and process until the cauliflower begins to look like a sauce. Add in the remaining ingredients and pulse until well combined.
Let sit out at room temperature for an hour or two, to give the flavors a chance to develop. Serve at room temperature, topped with some olive oil and paprika, with olive oil crackers or your favorite vegetables on the side, and enjoy!
* This stores best in the fridge, but is best served at room temperature; remove the hummus from the fridge at least a half hour prior to serving! The longer this hummus sits, the stronger the flavors become, I let mine sit for over a day and the resulting flavors were exactly like chickpeas!