Unusual but Delicious

April 14, 2011

Sometimes I find myself at a recipe crossroads.  I happen upon something that sounds really interesting, really different.  I pause and realize that it could either go very right or very wrong.  I saw Carrot Pancakes with Hummus and a Feta Salad and I was intrigued.  I thought it could be great.  And I was right.  So right that I made it twice in a week.

Here is a little window into my life.  I have this food blog.  I cook a lot.  We entertain a lot.  I make things for dinner parties that are totally blog worthy but I only photograph those dishes a very small percentage of the time.  When people are hungry and I’m trying to pull everything together, my camera is not the first thing on my mind.  I will have a fleeting thought, “Oh, I would love to write about this!” and then I notice an empty wine glass or a smudge the dishwasher left on a dinner plate or a pot of soup about to bubble over and before I know it, dinner is over and the camera stayed in its case.

This one, though.  This one I had to make again.  And not only so I could share it with you, although that is important to me.  I had to make it again because I wanted to eat it again.  To be fair, this was done easily because the recipe gives you a generous amount of hummus so I had some left over.  Usually I am a hummus purist.  I love hummus and I don’t like it gussied up with anything other than the basics.  Roasted carrots though?  Yes please.

There are many things I can tell you about this dish but I will try and keep it simple.  I served this as an appetizer for our dinner party last week and as more of a main course for dinner last night.  You can do either and just vary the size of the pancakes.  I got about 8 “pancake” size ones last night.  I would imagine you can make the pancakes early in the day and just reheat them in a low oven.  I threw together the feta salad last night based on what I had in my refrigerator.  Add any kind of sprouts, little bits of lettuce, herbs – it will all taste good.  I would say the must-haves are a really good feta and the almonds.

One Year Ago: Tabasco and Asparagus Quinoa
Two Years Ago: Southwestern Sweet Potato Gratin

Carrot Pancake with Hummus and a Feta Salad
Adapted from The Modern Vegetarian
Serves 4-6

Please do not be scared off by the long list of ingredients.  This is an easy recipe.  You can make the hummus days before and the dressing up to a week before. You can even mix together the pancake ingredients (except for the water) early in the day so they are almost all ready to go. You can use the leftover dressing for your salads during the week.

For the pancakes
1 1/3 cups grated carrots (about 2 medium)
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. fennel seeds
2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup chickpea flour
¼ cup semolina
2 tsp. salt
2/3-¾ cup water
Olive oil

For the hummus
3 large carrots, peeled
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp. tahini
1 tsp. ground cumin

For the salad
Few leaves of arugula
Few large pinches of different kinds of sprouts
2 tbsp. cilantro leaves, torn
12 mint leaves, torn
¼ cup chopped almonds
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

For the dressing
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Pinch of sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp. good olive oil

Make the hummus
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Cut the carrots into thin slices, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place on a baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes or until softened.  While still hot, put them into a food processor with the remaining hummus ingredients and pulse to a smooth purée, adding a little olive oil or water if too thick.  Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.  Set aside.

Make the pancakes
Mix all the ingredients together, except the olive oil, to form a thick batter.  Heat just a bit of oil in a large non-stick skillet and spoon in bits of batter, a couple of tablespoons or so.  I found it best to use a large soup spoon and used the back of it to smooth the pancakes into more or less a round shape.  Cook on one side until golden and then flip.  Remove to a rack and repeat with the rest of the batter.

Make the salad
Place all the dressing ingredients in a wide mouth jar, put on the lid, and shake vigorously.  (Alternatively, whisk the ingredients together in a bowl.)  Put all the salad ingredients together in a medium size bowl and drizzle in a bit of dressing.  Use a light hand and toss gently.

Place one or two pancakes on a plate.  Top with a dollop of hummus and a large pinch of the salad.


  1. As a fellow hummus purist, these do sound incredibly delicious!

    Comment by Jacqui — April 14, 2011 @ 5:57 pm

  2. I really love it when things unexpectedly work out in the kitchen. Even better when they turn out even more beautifully than you’d hoped. Lately for me it’s been the opposite but what can you do! I’ll just have to give these a whirl and turn my luck around.

    Comment by Joanne — April 14, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

  3. This looks so good. I need to buy chickpea flour and semolina now to try these.

    Comment by stacey snacks — April 14, 2011 @ 11:52 pm

  4. I’ve been meaning to buy some chickpea flour so I think this is a great incentive to just do it. Looks fabulous and I can imagine how wonderful it tastes! Love your creativity.

    Comment by kickpleat — April 15, 2011 @ 3:10 am

  5. I just love the idea of roasted carrots in hummus.

    Comment by michelle — April 15, 2011 @ 10:22 am

  6. […] Interesting looking recipe for carrot pancakes with hummus and feta salad from Dana Treat. […]

    Pingback by Jillian Frances — April 15, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

  7. This sounds SO good! I love things that basically include all familiar ingredients but used in a much different way. Can’t wait to try it!

    Comment by Charise — April 15, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

  8. I love the stacked look. When I first saw the top photo, I was thinking this was from Plenty. Sounds like an interesting, in a delicious way, mix of flavors!

    Comment by lisaiscooking — April 15, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

  9. not unusual to me! i love this combo.

    Comment by vanillasugarblog — April 16, 2011 @ 10:50 pm

  10. Loved all your tips about the Greek salad, and agree with them all, although I have to confess to resorting to pitted olives quite often. (shame on me!)

    I’ve been using white balsamic vinegar lately when I want its flavor but not the color, which can be unappealing, as you pointed out…

    Comment by SallyBR — April 24, 2011 @ 11:34 pm

  11. […] flavours. I’ve also got something in mind for those carrots- I’ve been thinking about this recipe ever since Dana posted it. I’ll likely simplify a bit, but it looks like a […]

    Pingback by Mother’s Day Veg – A cooking blog - Kitchenist — May 8, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

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