Target Health Blog

Smoked Paprika Hummus Appetizer

April 20, 2020

Target Healthy Eating

We're really missing the glorious Spring show in our neighborhood, as I'm sure everyone reading this, is also missing, wherever you're shut-down. This recipe is an attempt to create some bright colors, and is also very easy to make, with or without kids. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC
Tasty low calorie fun! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC
Healthy appetizer, delicious with chilled white wine. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC
Lots of crunch, along with the velvety hummus. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC


4 large cucumbers, peeled in alternate stripes, then cut on a bias (slant) into 4 or 5 pieces, depending on how large they are. Finally, scoop out the center to make a cup, into which, you will spoon the hummus. Make the height of each cucumber piece, 1.5 to 2 inches high, so it's a one or two bite-size piece.

2 (15.5-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3 garlic cloves ground in mortar & pestle with 3 anchovy fillets (use anchovies as salt substitute, plus flavor)

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 pinches chili flakes

2 teaspoons smoked paprika, plus more for garnish

1 pinch black pepper

1 Tablespoons parsley, well chopped

1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, well chopped

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish

1/3 cup tahini (or substitute: almond butter, cashew butter, sesame oil)

Optional garnishes: roasted red bell peppers, roasted garlic, lemon slices, olives, mint or parsley sprigs, chopped tomato, olives

Hopefully, all you need to buy are the cucumbers, parsley, cilantro and fresh lemon. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC


1.              Do all chopping, grating, grinding, measuring, etc. first.

About to chop the cilantro. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC
Just chopped the parsley. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC

2.              Wash & trim the cucumbers, then with a veggie peeler, make stripes on the outside of each cucumber.

Making stripes on outside of cucumbers. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC

3.              Save 1/4 cup of the chickpea liquid from the canned chick peas. Set aside

4.              Put the chickpeas in a colander and rinse well.

Rinsing all the chickpeas in a colander. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC

5.              Combine the chickpeas, garlic & anchovies, lemon juice, cayenne, paprika, salt, pepper, parsley, cilantro, olive oil, and tahini in a bowl and stir to mix well.

6.              Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until well mixed.

All ingredients are in food processor and being blended until we get a smooth velvety hummus. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC

7.              Add the 1/4 cup of the chickpea canned liquid and process until smooth and almost fluffy. Add more liquid if you think it's necessary.

8.              Scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (The hummus can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated. Return to room temperature before serving.)

9.              After cutting each cucumber into 1.5 or 2 inch pieces, with a melon baller or grapefruit spoon, scoop out the inside of each piece, making a generous cup to hold the hummus. Be sure not to scoop out too close to the bottom and/or sides or you'll weaken the support.

Hollow out the pieces of cucumber with a melon baller or a thin spoon like a grapefruit spoon. Make a nice deep pocket for the hummus. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC
To fill piping bag or plastic bag, simply fill a glass with the bag, as you see in photo.
Next, fill the plastic bag with the hummus mixture from your food processor. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC
Get ready to pipe the hummus mixture, into the hollowed out cucumber pockets. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC
The piping of the hummus, gives a fancier "look" to the appetizer. However, you can certainly skip this step. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC

10.           Fill a piping bag or plastic bag with the hummus. If you don't have a piping bag, a small plastic bag works just as well, when you make a tiny cut on one corner of the filled bag. If you want to skip this step, simply fill each cucumber with hummus, with a slim spoon, like a grapefruit spoon.

11.           Fill each cucumber piece with the hummus. Then garnish with whatever colorful veggie you have on hand, or simply use extra leaves of the parsley and/or cilantro.

12.           Serve with a chilled white wine.

These hummus appetizers look as though you've spent a lot of time on them, when actually, they take very little time to put together and taste wonderful. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC
We missed Philip Glass' production of AKHNATEN, at MetOpera, but saved the gorgeous production of it, in our digital library. As we watched this magnificent opera this past weekend, we nibbled on hummus/cucumber appetizers, washed down with chilled Pouilly-Fuisse. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC

I love Philip Glass, whose musical director (conductor and pianist) happens to be one of my brothers-in law, Michael Reisman. Many people aren't used to minimalist compositions, however, be receptive and you may find it deeply relaxing and moving. One of my favorite minimalist composers is Arvo Part, from Estonia. Please give his beautiful piece a listen (below).

As I listen to the two versions of Spiegel im Spiegel, I am mourning three relatives of three of our employees who were caught by Covid-19 and have departed. We are so sad today.

Philip Glass & Michael Reisman (on the piano to the left) The Philip Glass Ensemble - Floe (Glassworks) performed in Vilnius, Lithuania

Arvo Part- Spiegel im Spiegel (1)

Arvo Part- Spiegel im Spiegel (2)

Bon Appetit!

From Our Table to Yours

Have a Great Week Everyone!

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