Deconstructed, Reconstructed Hummus

Serves: 4
Cost: ~€2.30
Preparation time: ~25 minutes
Calories: ~340 per serving

This post could have run under many names – “chickpea salad” being perhaps the most boring of them. I’ve never made a deconstructed anything in my life… I’m not even quite sure what the term means in the culinary world… but it does seem strangely apt for this dish, so I went with it. I have raved before about my undying love for hummus… It may sound odd but this stuff is probably my favourite food and while there are a multitude of worse things (for the health I mean) I could love to eat in the world – cookies, ice-cream, chocolate (hell, I love those too, but not quite so much!) – despite what many people think, hummus isn’t that healthy, at least not if it’s made well, and by well I mean “well lubricated with plenty of olive oil). Not only is there no small amount which is poured in during preparation, but it’s even traditionally served streaked through with liberal dashes of the stuff as well!


I know, I know – olive oil isn’t so terrible, and chickpeas are great, but it’s still fat and if you’re trying to drop a few kilos you don’t want to be getting too cozy with that beloved bottle. Well, that’s a bit of a problem for this ol’ hummus lover here. I could  make a “healthier” version, you know, with less oil or something, but that’s not very exciting, is it? Besides, there must be thousands of hummus recipes on the internet, and everyone has their own way of making it, so I thought I’d aim for something a little more interesting.

I should actually credit the idea for this to my wife. She put the idea in my head and I thought about it a bit and decided just what a great idea it was… good wifey; not just a pretty face! So, think about what you normally eat hummus with; sure, some people are crazy and stick it on ice-cream, but most people would probably eat it with bread, crudités, maybe in a sandwich, right? So how about sticking all the ingredients for hummus into a bowl, adding the afore mentioned crudités and significantly less oil and stirring it all up?

The result is a delicious chickpea salad with a wonderful, rich “hummus-like” flavour, thanks to the lemon juice and tahini paste. It has the filling, nourishing, satisfying effect from the chickpeas, and the wonderful crunch from the vegetables. If you love hummus and want to try something a bit different, give this a go. It’s fast and easy to make and the good thing is, like hummus, you can make a big batch, and come back to it over the next couple of days and dip in for a lunch or a snack every so often. One note: if you add bread, you might want to keep this separate unless you’re eating the whole lot immediately as it will go soft in the tahini dressing and the lack of the crunch from the bread does detract a little from the final eating experience! Enjoy everyone – I hope you enjoy today’s video as well! Have a great Monday and I’ll be back on Thursday with something new!

Deconstructed, Reconstructed Hummus

[learn_more caption=”Video Recipe” state=”open”]


Deconstructed, Reconstructed Hummus ingredients

  • ~500g prepared Chickpeas
  • Half a head of Cauliflower
  • A good handful of Radishes
  • A 10-15cm length of Cucumber
  • ~3 slices of Bread
  • 1 red Onion
  • 2 large cloves of Garlic
  • Juice from 2 Lemons
  • 2 tbsps Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsps Tahini Paste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Start off by preheating your oven to about 160 degrees Celsius. Chop the bread into small cubes and drizzle over 1 tbsp of the Olive Oil. Toss the cubes in the oil and then place on a tray in the oven. Shake the pan periodically to ensure even cooking. Leave the cubes cooking until they’ve started to take on a light golden-brown colour – about 20 minutes.
    Toasting the bread
  2. While the bread is roasting, peel and finely chop the red onion. Trim the radishes, and chop, along with the cucumber into pieces roughly the same size as a chickpea. Break down the cauliflower into small, bite-sized florets and place the onion, radishes, cucumber, cauliflower and chickpeas into a large bowl.
    Mixing all the crudités
  3. Mix the remaining 1tbsp of Olive Oil in a small pot with the Tahini Paste and Lemon Juice. Peel and mince the garlic and add this in too. Mix well to create a creamy emulsion.
    Mixing up the sauce
  4. Once the toasted bread is ready, add into the bowl with the rest of the vegetables. Pour the Tahini Paste sauce over the top and mix for a few minutes to ensure everything is well coated.
    Blending in the sauce
  5. Add in some freshly ground salt and pepper to taste, serve immediately and enjoy! If you’re planning on serving the salad at a later time then consider keeping the bread separate until the last minute in order to keep it crisp.
    Deconstructed, Reconstructed Hummus


  1. Helen Smith says

    Lovely video, Charles, and I could hear the blackbird singing in the tree outside your balcony, just as an extra to the beautiful music. I shall certainly try this recipe, being a chickpea and olive oil fan. I can now buy cheap canned pulses, which is a real bonus, and saves the time when I forget to soak them the previous night.

    • says

      Thanks a lot – yeah, I love the sound of the blackbird, and I’m always surprised by how sensitive the microphone is too!

      I still have loads of of packets of pulses in my cupboard from my last trip to England – must get using those I think!

  2. says

    I always thought hummus was health food! I guess it’s not as bad as some of the things I snack on. I love the look of the radishes – so fresh, pretty and crunchy looking. And croutons as just delicious cooked like that. What a great salad for a hot summer’s day xx

    • says

      Hi Charlie – no, you’re right, it’s not terrible, definitely not compared to some things. Everything in moderation though, right? 😉

  3. says

    Great idea, Charles, I love this salad recipe. I adore hummus too; I have successfully made it with substituting chicken or vegetable stock for the olive oil; however, I do like the drizzle of chili infused olive oil for presentation.

    • says

      Hi Eva – that sounds like an intriguing idea and I’m sure it added a whole new complexity to the flavours… Did you just pour it in while blitzing up? I’ll have to give it a try!

      • says

        Yes, I just added it whilst blitzing, keeping an eye out for the consistency (so it’s not too watery). It’s all about balance for me, saving a little here and a little there, allows me to splurge once in a while (kind of like a budget).
        Incidentally, I made your salad which I will blog about later, I added a few different ingredients as you said, whatever you have at home. I loved it. I’ll cut the garlic down a bit so I don’t evacuate my office next time, but it was DELICIOUS. I loved everything about it. I put my salad over spinach leaves and will be having it for lunch today…not surprisingly, I can’t stop thinking about lunch (or perhaps I just want to get working out over with so I can have lunch!). Thanks again for such a creative take on this staple in our household.

  4. says

    Hi Charles, You made me laugh! It’s nice to see you “live”.. I love this post. Since I lived in the middle east and I have a bunch of Lebanese friends, Here is how they told me to do it, the healthy way: They emulsify it with water and lemon juice instead of olive oil which is just added on the top but that’s an option to keep it moist (and I add a lot unfortunately)..

    I love your idea of deconstructed hommous.

    • says

      Hi Nada – thanks for the idea, I’m going to try this, and also Eva’s idea of stock the next few times. I’m excited about my next few batches of hummus :)

      Glad you enjoyed the video!

  5. says

    You’re right, the title chickpea salad alone does not do justice to this beautiful creation. So many fresh looking additions – including the vibrant radish – and I love the tahini reminiscent of traditional hummus. (I also see that you’re working in more of your once disdained cauliflower 😉 – yay!). Nothing wrong with olive oil people – a naturally occurring monounsaturated fat that is the basis of the much-revered Mediterranean diet. Eat. Appreciate. Be Merry :).

    • says

      Hi Kelly, thanks so much – you’re right that I’m working in the cauliflower, but you’ll notice it’s all nice and yummy and raw here. I’m feeling interested by raw food right now… I might start making a few dishes of “raw food” and see how it goes. I know it’s a bit of a fad but it’s fun to explore nevertheless.

      You’re right – there is nothing wrong with olive oil… it’s delicious for one thing. It’s so much better than many alternatives. It’s like butter which people have shunned in the past because “yeah, that tub of flabby looking margarine over there is better because it’s in a more colourful box” – yuck, margarine! My point was more *too* much of something isn’t always good, but the same can be said for many things.

  6. says

    wow charles .. this great… after moving to dubai i am always looking out for something middles eastern and this is something i can try.. it looks grt.. delicois .. may skip teh radish though!!!

    • says

      Thanks Renu – are you not a radish fan? Too bad… I love the peppery flavour so much. Maybe you’d like… er, damn, I forgot the name, ah – “daikon”. The long white radish (called “Japanese Radish”, “Korean Radish” etc, depending where you buy it from :D). It’s not as peppery but still has a wonderful freshness and crunch!

      • says

        no char;les… not a radish fan.. we used to get the white ones in India.. i dont like the smell ….let me see what varieties i get here.. may try…

    • says

      Thanks Jenny – other people have made some great suggestions on how to make hummus healthier… adding more water and so forth, even stock – I’m going to try this next time :)

  7. says

    I’m not a huge fan of hummus but I love what you’ve done with it here. I’m not sure about deconstructed food either – I always associate it with professional chefs on cooking shows!

  8. says

    One of my favorite sandwiches is hummus with feta cheese and lots and lots of summer vegetables: cucumber, roasted peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, so I would want cheese in my salad here. But I have never liked the slick of oil on hummus in restaurants, so I make mine particularly rich in lemon juice and garlic — I don’t think it can have enough lemon — with just enough tahini and olive oil to smooth it out.

  9. says

    Fantastic idea-well done to your wife for the suggestion and of course to you for making it. As you know I’m a big fan too of hummus…when I’m feeling I need to cut back on the caloric content I’ve substituted the olive oil for pouring plain yogurt and then just added a drizzle of sesame oil over the top at the end for aroma, taste and ‘mouth feel’ However this recipe of yours sounds marvellous so will give it a go next time-thanks again Charles-and BTW the videos are getting better and better!

    • says

      Hi GD – I like the idea of the plain yoghurt a lot – I’ll havr to give it a try… thanks so much and I’m so glad you’re enjoying the videos :)

  10. says

    Great creation, Charles! I also love hummus and also wish it was less fatty… Then I could have it everyday! This salad seems a perfect, full summer meal. I see chickpeas are one of your favourites too! It’s so much fun watching your videos! It must mean so much work… I’m impressed as always.

    • says

      Thanks Sissi – It’s true, I’m a massive chickpea fan… there were some leftover chickpeas from a can the other day after my wife made a salad. I just ate them with some salt and olive oil… SO good 😀

  11. says

    I just made hummus, which as we were mowing through it I was thinking that it’s not so healthy when you love it and eat mass quantities of it, even when you use very little oil, as I usually do. This is another of your recipes that I will be trying soon, it’s just brilliant. I could see adding a few sliced kalamata olives to this as well, not that it needs it. Can’t wait to taste this and loved your video…so much fun. :)

    • says

      Hi Betsy – I know that feeling… I can easily make a huge bowl of hummus and then it will be completely gone in two days.

      Love the idea of adding olives – thanks, I’ll incorporate them next time!

  12. says

    Coincidentally I’m cooking chickpeas right now to make a traditional hummus now that I’ve replaced my tahini supply. I love crunchy salads so the croutons are a definite high point for me. :)

    • says

      Hi A_ – I read that freshly cooked chickpeas make a way better hummus than the canned variety. Can’t say I’ve ever really made a point of comparing them, but my father-in-law makes an amazing hummus and that’s using peas which he cooks himself so there’s probably something in that!

      • says

        The only drawback to using fresh chickpeas is if you have a large bag that’s been sitting in your side room for a while it may take a bit longer to get them tender. I don’t mind though, I just play on the computer or throw another show in the dvd player. :)

  13. says

    This salad is chock full of yummy bits — especially the crunchy bread bits. (The yummy bits are what keep me eating salads.) I haven’t made a chick pea salad with a tahini-based dressing, so I have to give this a go. This is a very clever salad Charles — well done!

    • says

      Thanks Barb – I was off using Tahini paste for a while because I had some stuff which tasted really bad for some reason, but now I’m on it again and it makes a great dressing and goes really well with the chickpeas!

  14. says

    Sorry, not too original coz I do that for my salads (I’m just lazy, not saying that you are of course) 😀 but may I say that great minds/wives think alike? It is a great idea, isn’t it? *ahem*
    Adding the croutons to soak up all the flavors …. yum!

    • says

      Well, I’m not sure how much originality there can be in life anymore. No matter what is made, I’m almost certain that at least one person, somewhere, will have made it before :)

  15. says

    Well, my hats off to the wifey!!! :) This is a fabulous idea and one that will be a big hit around here. I have all the ingredients on hand too. Well, except the cauliflower. 😉

    • says

      Thanks Kristy – I hope you can give it a try. You’ll notice the cauliflower is raw – all crunchy and nice. None of that filthy cooked stuff for me 😀

    • says

      Thanks Squishy – it’s very kind of you to say… I feel very self-conscious and don’t feel natural on film. I’m very envious of you because you seem to be able to act so “naturally” in your videos (I never met you in real life of course, but it seems very natural). I think I’m slowly improving though, so in a few videos time you’ll be able to get more and more of the “real me” :)

  16. says

    I love it when spouse throw out ideas! It helps to bring us out of the box. what a great idea this was! You’re right – between the lemon, tahini, and let’s not forget the garlic – this definitely should have the flavor of hummus! Love it!

  17. says

    Tell your wife this is a great idea, very creative and practical, I like this much better than the creamy hummus. Would make it with chick peas sprouts though as I rarely use canned peas.

    • says

      Thanks Norma – I’ll be sure to pass on the message :) Making it with the chickpea sprouts sounds like an excellent idea too – would give it an extra flavour and texture!

  18. says

    “Deconstructed” was a big word in the English Department at the university.. about 20 years or so ago.. I’m delighted to see it turning up in food!! Your wife is a smart young woman, isn’t she! I think this is so clever and I bet you could deconstruct a few other recipes of yours and create more innovative healthy dishes. I love this idea!!

    • says

      Hi Barb – I didn’t think of that… things which have a high fat content, deconstruct it all and remove the fat… nice idea. I’m going to have a think about that, thanks!

  19. says

    I love the idea of a deconstructed hummus “love the name too”
    Chickpeas are one of my favorite ingredients too, not only in hummus but I have to agree hummus itself has a decent amount of fat from the tahini and the olive oil but at least these fats are better than say cream or processed cheese.
    P.S.The video was really beautifully done Charles

    • says

      Hi Sawsan, thanks so much, and totally agree – the fats in hummus aren’t bad at all. I hope it didn’t sound like I was vilifying all fat… of course I know that there are many good fats, just like there are many bad ones, but after all – fat is still fat and the world often eats too much I think. At least, I don’t think I ever heard a doctor say “eat more fat” 😀

  20. says

    Charles, now I know why you asked if my family likes hummus! LOL. The answer is no… can you believe it? If I make or buy hummus I’d be finishing the entire bowl myself (because I LOVE LOVE LOVE hummus). So I allow myself to enjoy when I go to someone’s house or restaurant and get to eat hummus. This deconstructed-reconstructed hummus is so unique and I even love the name! =)

    • says

      Hi Nami – sounds like we have the same problem with hummus. If I make a large bowl, using maybe 1kg of chickpeas (what’s that, like 2.2 lbs right?) then I can easily eat 50% of it the same day! :( )

  21. Helen Smith says

    Hi Charles. This was very impressive when we had it for dinner this evening served with jacket potatoes. Lovely recipe, (thanks to wifey ) and it felt so healthy eating it. Very crisp, colourful and tasty!!!!! Well done both. So quick to prepare, too

    • says

      Ah, I’m so pleased – did you not find it a bit much with the potato on top of the chickpeas? When I made it I already found it very filling with just the salad on its own!

  22. says

    Hi Charles,
    This looks like an awesome dish. We all love hummus in my house and I cannot wait to make this.
    Beautiful pictures and lovely presentation! Love it!

  23. says

    This is one fantastic salad Charles. Those radishes look fab too. When you make a hummus you really have to add that extra drizzle of olive oil some fresh garlic and even some hot pepper flakes, LOL. There is quite a bit of oil in the tahini paste too but you don’t eat it every day although I could. And here you’ve added some extra fiber with the cauliflower. I’ve to make this. Hope all is well.

    • says

      Thanks Suzi – the radishes photo didn’t really fit in anywhere so I stuffed it at the top. It was too delicious looking to ignore!

  24. says

    Amazing! I loved the way you deconstructed the hummus. Even I would not have gone for something right now, which is high in fat and oil, since I am also trying to reduce some extra weight. But this salad is amazing… I have always loved chickpeas in my salads, but this is terrific! Strangely, I don’t like hummus, but I think, I am going to love THIS!


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