Around the holidays, it's easy to overdo it on cookies and other sweet treats. Instead, how about creating a veggie Christmas tree with this Lemony White Bean Hummus! The 3-D appetizer piled high with veggies and surrounded by hummus will be a hit and is fun to make with kids!
Hummus can be made with a variety of different legumes and vegetables. This is a tasty version featuring cannellini, instead of the usual chickpeas. The recipe below is for the hummus itself, but here is how to make your tree creation
WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR THE TREE
*Floral foam cone (about 9 inches)
*3-4 collard green or kale leaves, whole
*3-4 broccoli crowns
*Red, yellow or orange pepper
*Pint of cherry tomatoes
*Pint of miniature white button mushrooms
*Bag of baby Carrots
1) Remove stems from collard green leaves and wrap them around the floral cone to cover the surface. Secure with toothpicks and trim any excess.
2) Now you are ready to start attaching broccoli branches. Cut broccoli into pieces with short stems. Break several toothpicks in half. Insert the sharp end into the stem of one piece of broccoli and use the broken end to push it into the floral cone. Start attaching broccoli covering the top and working in rows until you reach the bottom. You can leave a few spaces here and there for the veggie “ornaments”.
3) Use whole toothpicks to attach mushrooms and cherry tomatoes as ornaments in the spaces created by the broccoli. Cut the baby carrots into two smaller halves and include those as well.
4) Now that your ornaments are up, you can make the “garland” for the tree. Cut the top off of a pepper. Then with a small paring knife start at the top and cut one continuous 1/2 inch strip until you reach the bottom of the pepper. Don’t worry if your pepper garland breaks. You can fasten it together!
5) Starting from the top take the pepper garland and fasten it at the top. Drape it from top to bottom, using about 5-7 toothpicks to fasten it in place between the branches. If your garland has broken, use toothpicks to fasten it onto the cone with the ends touching each other. You should be able to drape your garland 2-3 times around the tree.
6) Now the star!! Take your star fruit and cut it into large star-shaped slices. Take the prettiest slice and attach it to the top of your tree with a toothpick.
7) Place the tree on a plate and spread your lemony hummus dip around it like snow! (recipe below)LEMONY WHITE BEAN HUMMUS
2 15-oz cans white beans like Great Northern or cannellini drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons of tahini paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice and zest of half a lemon (more to taste)
1 clove of garlic
1/4 tsp of salt (more to taste)
Combine ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.