Makes about 2 ½ cups
Hummus is always the appetizer that’s finished to the last swipe, and my secret is in the toppings. You can’t just put a bowl of hummus on the table, you’ve got to show it some love! Warm spiced meat (Nachos Bassar, shawarma chicken or tempeh , caramelized mushrooms, soft-boiled eggs , or Harissa-Braised Chickpeas —they’re all ripe for dipping. One of my all-time favorite hummus dishes is the Hummus Simanim recipe I developed for the high holidays (you can find it on my blog), which gave way to this jeweled version, inspired by Persian jeweled rice.
1 cup good-quality tahini paste, stir if separated
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon saffron threads steeped in ¼ cup hot water
½ cup ice water
2 (15.5-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons shelled raw pistachios
3 tablespoons blanched slivered almonds
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 large carrot, peeled and julienned (about 1 heaping cup)
2 tablespoons sugar
Juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, halved and thinly sliced into half-moons
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
Rose petals, za’atar and olive oil, for garnish (optional)
1 To make the hummus: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S blade, purée the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, cumin, saffron, and water until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. While the machine is running, pour the ice water through the feed tube of the food processor. Blend until the mixture is very smooth. Add the chickpeas and continue blending until the mixture is very smooth and creamy. Adjust the seasoning, adding more salt, cumin, or lemon juice if desired. To adjust the consistency, add a bit of ice water at a time until your desired thickness is achieved. Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate until ready to use.
2 To prepare the toppings: Preheat the oven to 350°F. On separate sides of a small baking sheet, place the pistachios and almonds and bake for 8 minutes, or until toasted and fragrant. Set aside.
3 In a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat the grapeseed oil and then add the carrots. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the carrots soften. Add the sugar and orange juice and continue to sauté for 5 more minutes, or until the liquid reduces to a glaze. Remove the carrots from the skillet onto a plate and use a paper towel to wipe the skillet clean.
4 In the same skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion. Sauté for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until caramelized. Add the salt, cardamom, cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon and stir for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Remove the skillet from the heat.
5 To assemble the hummus: Spread it into a large shallow bowl, swirling to create a well in the center with the bottom of a spoon. In the well, place the onions, candied carrots, pistachios, almonds, and pomegranate seeds.