2-3 medium or 4 small tomatoes sliced thin
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons O’Live A Little’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil divided
1 clove garlic smashed
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh basil chopped, divided
salt and pepper
3 cups cooked cannellini/great northern beans (or 2 cans drained, but liquid reserved)
1/4 cup tahini sesame seed paste
2 tablespoons rounded tomato paste
1 cup fresh shredded mozzarella cheese plus more for topping if desired*
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese*
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
Method of Prep
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lie your sliced tomatoes flat on the baking sheet and drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Generously sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and pepper. Now sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to char and caramelize around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Meanwhile add 1/4 cup olive oil, the smashed garlic, and oregano to a small saucepot. Warm over medium-low heat, being careful not to burn the garlic for 10 minutes or until hot.
While the oil heats add the beans, tahini, tomato paste, mozzarella, and 1-2 tablespoons parmesan to the bowl of a food processor. Add in 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid from the cans of beans (or 1/2 cup warm water). Puree the mixture until smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary for about 5-8 minutes.
Once the oil is hot, remove the garlic. Carefully and slowly pour the hot oil into the food processor, puree until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. The hot oil should melt the cheese. Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil.
Now grab the roasted tomatoes. Finely chop them and add them to a bowl with 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil and the chopped pine nuts. Toss.
Spoon the hummus into a serving bowl (use an oven-safe bowl if you plan on baking). Spoon the tomatoes over top the hummus. If desired you can stir the tomatoes into the hummus or serve them dolloped over top. Drizzle with olive oil if desired. Sprinkle with basil. Serve with the pizza bread.
To bake the hummus, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Add anywhere from 4-8 ounces fresh mozzarella over top the hummus. Bake for 15 minutes, then add the tomatoes and place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese becomes bubbly and lightly browned. Serve hot with the pizza bread.
For the Pesto Pita Chips
12” round pocket bread (pita), or 2-3 smaller in size. You can usually find large pita rounds at any Middle Eastern store.
¼ - ½ cup pesto - store-bought or see recipe below (much better than store-bought!)
Method Of Prep
Open the pita loaf and break into two, so you have two thin rounds (each side of the loaf)
Brush in the insides of each round with pesto
Place on a baking sheet close to the heating element, oiled side up, under the pre-heated broiler till lightly golden and crisp (make sure to watch carefully as they can burn easily)
Once cool, break into pieces and serve with Margarita Hummus
The Best Pesto
2 Cups fresh basil leaves (no stems)
2 Tablespoons pine nuts (toasted)
2 Large cloves garlic
½ Cup O’Live A Little’s Italian Classic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ Teaspoon of salt
Method of Prep:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
While waiting for the water to boil, fill a bowl with ice water
Once the water boils, add basil leaves and boil for approx. 20 secs. Remove immediately and place in an ice-water bath to cool quickly.
Remove basil leaves and squeeze out excess water.
Doing this above process prevents the basil leaves from turning army green a day after the pesto is made. Doing this step keeps its pretty green color for more than a week. If you are going to use all the paste within 24 hours, then it can be omitted. However, I love doing this step and being able to have pretty pesto in my fridge and use at a moment’s notice
Combine basil leaves, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor and process until very finely minced.
With the machine running slowly dribble in the oil and process until the mixture is smooth.
Add the cheese and salt and process very briefly, just long enough to combine. Store in refrigerator or freezer.