Non - Vegetarian Meals

Lemony Hummus with Spiced Lamb

By: Kate Davies

I love a recipe that can function as an appetizer, entree, or party food. This spiced lamb added to the lemony chickpea puree  goes beautifully with a salad for lunch. I made my own hummus, although I did cheat with canned chickpeas. There’s no shame in buying your favorite hummus at the supermarket and focusing your efforts on the lamb, either.

There are lots of ways to get your hands on roasted garlic. Many supermarkets sell it in jars, ready to use. I like to take whole garlic cloves and cook them slowly in olive oil over very low heat. In addition to roasted cloves of whole garlic, you end up with garlicky oil, which adds another layer of flavor to this hummus recipe, salad dressing, vegetables, or pasta.

This dish is another example of meze, or small plates for sharing. Last year when Iona turned one year old, most of her party guests were our adult friends. We made tons of different spreads, dips, flat breads, salads, and finger foods for the party. This dish, along with my Muhammara, won the day.

The recipe below calls for small amounts of the spices. You can always add a bit more to suit your taste. Serve the lamb sizzling atop the hummus for extra style points, and don’t skimp on the pita. The sumac garnish on top is not just for looks. While it does add color, it has a beautiful sweet/tangy flavor that compliments the rich lamb beautifully.

Lemony Hummus with Spiced Lamb

Print Recipe
Serves: 6-8 Cooking Time: 1 hour


  • 2 cans chickpeas (4 cups cooked chickpeas, if not canned)
  • 6-8 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (or a bit more, if you like it tart)
  • 2/3 cup tahini (Soom foods, if possible)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • sumac to taste (about a teaspoon)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • toasted pita



Place 1/4 cup lemon juice, tahini, roasted garlic, and chickpeas in a blender or food processor.


Puree the mixture until smooth, adding olive oil to thin it out as necessary.


Check the lemon; if your hummus isn't bright and tart, add the rest.


Add salt, blend, and taste. Adjust as necessary.


Continue to blend the hummus, adding olive oil until you have a smooth puree.


In a hot skillet, brown the lamb with the shallots and minced garlic.


Drain any excess liquid that accumulates in the pan.


Season with salt, pepper, cumin, and smoked paprika.


Turn off the heat, and add the extra virgin olive oil and pine nuts.


To serve, make a well in the center of the hummus on a plate.


Gently reheat the lamb mixture until it just barely sizzles (too hot and you'll burn your pine nuts).


Spoon the lamb mixture into the well in the center of the hummus.


Top with a good sprinkle of Sumac.


Scoop it up with toasted pita

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