Back to Ireland. Or Spain. Sorta Both: Ard Bia’s Hummus Plate

Back to Ireland. Or Spain. Sorta Both:  Ard Bia’s Hummus Plate

Ok, I promised one more Spanish dish in my “Return to Favorites” week, and I’m here to deliver. Well, it’s kinda Spanish. Also kinda Irish.  Anyway, because I’m having hectic week, I thought I’d wait until next week to head to my next destination: Tonga (explanation forthcoming. Tonga is NOT next to Poland).  In the meantime, here’s this to tide us both over.

Last September, Tomato and I went to Ireland to watch our alma mater, Notre Dame, take on Navy in Dublin at Aviva Stadium. While the game was the draw, we made the most of our trek overseas by spending 4 days biking throughout the southwestern Irish countryside. It was breathtakingly beautiful and hillier than either of us expected. No matter, it was still a good time.


leprachaun crossing

As I mentioned before, one of the things about that trip that surprised us the most, besides the hills, was the food. The food was AMAZING. Maybe it was because we had heard such bad things about Irish food that we were all the more surprised by how delicious and clean it all tasted. In any case, don’t believe what you hear about the flavors of the Emerald Isle.

One of the places that we hit on our travels was Galway.   As I mentioned before, there is an overwhelming Spanish influence in Galway.  In touring the area around the Spanish Arch, we found a little gem of a restaurant called Ard Bia at Nimmos.  A lot of the dishes were Spanish-Irish fusion which, to me, was the best of both worlds since I LOVE LOVE LOVE Spanish food. Some were just Ard Bia originals.

One of our favorites from the meal was a hummus plate.  Well hummus, but not.  The recipes I’m sharing are Ard Bia’s reinterpretation of a favorite snack, and my reinterpretation of their reinterpretation. Hummus, snazzed up.  These are easy to throw together and a great way to mix up everyone’s favorite veggie dip.


Roast Squash Hummus


1 medium butternut squash, cut into wedges

1 ½ TB olive oil

1 TB farmer’s cheese (or cream cheese)

1 TB ground cumin

1 clove garlic

½ lemon, juice only

1 tsp tahini

Salt and pepper


1.  Preheat the oven to 375F.

2.  Drizzle the squash with oil and roast in the oven until soft, about 30 minutes.  Allow to cool before removing the flesh from the peel.  It should come away easily once cooked.

3.  Combine the cooked squash in the food processor with everything else and blend to a smooth paste. Season with salt and pepper and serve with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Beetroot hummus

1 can whole beets (1 lb)

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

2 tsp cumin

1-2 T pomegranate molasses, to taste (I used honey)

1 TB tahini

½ lemon, juice only


1.  Drain and rinse the beets.

2.  Throw everything else into the food processor.  Blend until smooth, checking the seasonings to your taste.

White Bean and Feta Hummus


1 cup cooked butter beans

½ cup feta

1 tsp ground coriander

1 generous handful basil, chopped or torn

Spash of olive oil

Lemon juice, to taste

Salt and pepper, to taste


Blend everything together in the food processor, adding a small amount of oil at a time to loosen the consistency.  Season generously.



Tomato’s artistry.

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