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Entertaining is made simple with this Vegetarian Charcuterie Board highlighted with three delicious hummus variations: Lemon Dill, Kalamata Olive Tapenade, and Roasted Poblano Pepper. Pair with The Dreaming Tree wine for light fare that you can feel so good about sharing.
So hey everyone. The timing of this post could not be more strangely appropriate because I am working with The Dreaming Tree wine, a brand focused on environmental causes and sustainability, and I am literally writing this as Hurricane Irma is approaching. As I type, the winds are picking up. Squalls of rain are going by. My house is boarded up. We spent I don’t know how much energy and money this week preparing our home, procuring everything we could think we would need, and packing in case we had to leave. Florida is about to get walloped, and it is going to be heartbreaking. And the ferocity of these storms will only continue to increase if we don’t address climate change. Warmer surface water in the ocean and warmer air doesn’t cause these storms, but it makes them stronger. How many of these disasters will it take for people to listen?
I have shared about my passion for environmental causes. At times, this may have been in the form of a rant … or two. 😁 (For my biggest rant ever, but also for 25 ways we can all make a difference, check my post out here.) But that’s my passion …and frustration. I volunteer on a sea turtle rescue team, so I see what happens to these animals. I live 10 minutes from the ocean and see the waste and trash that washes up with every tide. I live near the Indian River Lagoon, the most diverse ecosystem in the country, and it is suffocating under the muck. And it is our fault and we need to make the changes necessary to remedy the damage.
So, yeah, I am sitting here waiting for a hurricane. Praying for the best, preparing for the worst, and recognizing our hand in what all is going on. Clearly, this calls for a glass of wine and some munchies because there is not much else I can do at the moment.
For this post, I am really excited my recipe here is paired up with The Dreaming Tree wine. Recognize “The Dreaming Tree”? Yeahhh that’s Dave Matthews alright. I have been a fan foreverrrr. When I was in graduate school like 100 years ago, working many late nights, it was always Dave Matthews’ music that kept me company. Today still, his music is in my run jams as I train for triathlons. I always knew he supported environmental causes, and so I think it is beyond cool of him to support a eco-conscious wine. ..Props my dear Dave. Many props. …and I’ve had a crush on you for 20 years just saying.
So, The Dreaming Tree wine. I picked up several bottles at the grocery store for our pre-Irma preparation: The Dreaming Tree Crush, the Chardonnay, and the Pino Noir. Wine with a conscience, I love it. See, what we need to get people to realize is that we need to make the big changes, but we also need to make the little changes that add up to BIG change. The Dreaming Tree is all about the wine first and foremost – and it is delicious wine buhh-leave me. A high quality California red wine, The Dreaming Tree Crush especially gets my vote. But then The Dreaming Tree is about food and fun with friends, being accessible and affordable, down-to-Earth, AND they are about sustainability. In fact, they are celebrating donating over $1 Million to environmental programs that protect tree and forestry programs across the country. Boom. Especially with all the wildfires going on right now out west, what a great cause.
One thing that was way cool this week was the coming together of people in our neighborhood. There’s a tradition here in Florida that when a hurricane comes you do 3 things: prep your home, prep your hurricane snacks, and throw a hurricane party. Now the last one, I’m kinda kidding but not really. In our neighborhood, everyone is checking on each other and to be honest we need to just pass the dang time waiting and then being cooped up in boarded up houses. So, it’s a Florida thing.
So I wanted to put out some yum-yums. I wanted to do something easy and “charcuterie board-ish” but without the meat. I wanted a colorful little spread but to keep it vegetarian. And I wanted it light. And I wanted it to go with my The Dreaming Tree wines. So I made a little platter and created a trio of hummus to make a “flight”. First, I made hummus (a really good hummus by itself if I do say so myself). Then I split it into 3 bowls and made each a fantastic new hummus variation. For the Roasted Poblano Hummus, I quick-roasted a couple poblano peppers, then blended them into the hummus with onion and cilantro. For the Lemon Dill Hummus, I just mixed in lemon juice and zest and dill. And for the last one, the Kalamata Olive Tapenade Hummus, I topped the hummus with a DELICIOUS tapanade. This last one may be my favorite of the three. I added crunchy banana pepper and soulful sun-dried tomato and it just became this ridiculously good bite with the hummus, on the cracker. YUM.
In addition to the trios of hummus-es, I put out colorful veggies, little mini crackers, and some goat cheese. This was just the right amount for a small gathering, say 4-6 people. Light, fresh fare – this would be PERFECT for a ladies night or bunco night too. Or a little pre-party before a ladies night out. And if worried about it not being enough, or if you have big eaters like myself, just add another variety of cheese, maybe some dates and such. Keep it light and easy, and vegetarian. Not every gathering calls for chips and queso and cake. Some do, just not all.
So that’s it kids. Make the little choices that add to big change. We need to. Eat more vegetarian, even when entertaining like with this recipe. And buy products from companies that not only get it but are actually trying to help. Like The Dreaming Tree.
- 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 4 cloves garlic
- juice of 2 lemons
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 Tbs tahini
- 1/3 recipe Hummus
- 2 poblano peppers
- 1/4 cup diced white onion
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- pinch fresh cracked pepper
- 1/3 recipe Hummus
- juice of half a lemon
- zest of a lemon
- 2 tsp fresh chopped dill
- 1/3 recipe Hummus
- 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped banana pepper
- 1/4 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomato in olive oil, drained
- 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
- juice of half a lemon
- pinch kosher salt
- pinch fresh cracked pepper
- goat cheese, drizzled with honey
- mini wheat crackers
- fresh veggie crudites
- other ideas if serving more than 4-6 people: assorted olives, cheeses, banana peppers, dried apricots, Medjool dates, jam
- To roast the poblano peppers, put the peppers under the broiler for 15-20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes until skin is well charred. Transfer to a ziploc bag to steam. Once cool enough to handle, remove the skins and seeds. Rough chop.
- To make the tapanade, combine all ingredients except hummus in a bowl. This can be done a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
- Put all the ingredients for the basic hummus in a food processor and process until smooth. Divide the hummus to three bowls.
- For the Roasted Poblano Hummus, blend together the 1/3 recipe hummus, prepared poblano pepper, cilantro, and pepper.
- For the Lemon Dill Hummus, combine the 1/3 recipe hummus with remaining ingredients.
- For the Kalamata Olive Tapenade Hummus, simply top 1/3 recipe hummus with the tapanade.
- To assemble the Vegetarian Charcuterie Board, transfer each hummus to its serving bowl or ramekin. Arrange crudites, crackers, and goat cheese. Drizzle honey over the goat cheese. Serves 4-6.
To learn more about The Dreaming Tree wines, visit here, and for a store locator check here. Definitely get The Dreaming Tree Crush and the Chardonnay -they are my favorites. I found them at my grocery store, but they’re available also at drug and supercenter stores.
And leave me a comment! Are you committed to environmental causes and sustainability?
UPDATE: We fared well in the storm thank God, which was hurricane Category 2. No damage to our home (thank you new roof!), but there are trees down and damage throughout our area. Our power has been restored, but many here still are without. We have water back as well, but are under a boil water warning. Given the earlier forecasts for Hurricane Irma, we are so grateful this wasn’t worse. Our hearts are with those on the west side of Florida and in the Keys – OMG the Keys, it breaks my heart. We are working with our church to join volunteer efforts to help. And can I just say my state is rocking with emergency management, getting the notifications out, and state and local governments doing awesome? And we have like a zillion utility workers right here working to get everyone’s power back. Proud Floridian here. 👊