A Mediterranean Small Bites Cooking Class and a Recipe for Green Pea Hummus

Every summer I host a team-building cooking party for a group of “Future Leaders” from the National Fisheries Institute. This is the second year the cooking class was held at Create a Cook in Newton, Massachusetts, a place where kids and adults can sign up for hands-on cooking classes. The menu featured Mediterranean small bites — everything from our Grilled Salmon with Avocado Tarragon Sauce to Green Pea Hummus to Lobster Mango Salad with Sweet Vanilla Dressing — and all the leaders, whether seasoned cooks or novices in the kitchen, had a chance to prepare and share a recipe.

Made with everyday ingredients, this Green Pea Hummus with toasted focaccia bread, was easy to make, and I’m sure it’s something my family would love.

Through hands-on learning and networking with industry peers, NFI’s “Future Leaders” program nurtures the next generation of leadership within the seafood industry. Each year, the group has an opportunity to travel to Boston for an array of activities including the cooking party. Read on for the hummus recipe and highlights from the night.

Green Pea Hummus
Makes 30 Servings

This recipe is adapted from The New Middle Eastern Vegetarian by Sally Butcher. It’s an interesting change from traditional chickpea hummus, and I think it would be great as a sandwich spread as well as a dip. Peas are a good source of vitamin A, bone-building vitamin K, and a host of antioxidants. I hope you like garlic!

  • 2 pounds frozen peas
  • 4 tablespoons tahini
  • Juice of 3 to 4 lemons
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 lime
  • 4 loaves of Focaccia Bread

1. Bring the peas to a boil in a pan of water and cook for around 5 minutes, then drain and refresh under cold running water.

2. Pop them in the blender along with the tahini, lemon, garlic, oil, cumin, and parsley. Blend well. If too stiff, add some cold water to loosen it up.

3. Season to taste with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lime juice, and serve with toasted focaccia bread.

 Future Leaders at work making one of my favorite dishes of the night … Thai Shrimp Tacos with Slaw.

Homemade pasta being expertly prepared for the Manti Turkish Ravioli with Spiced Lamb and Yogurt.

Under the watchful eye of Chef Sam, everyone was intent on chopping and measuring their ingredients just right.

In keeping with the small bites theme, our Grilled Salmon with Avocado Tarragon Sauce from page 84 of No Whine with Dinner was turned into pop-in-your-mouth pieces. You can also make the sauce with cilantro instead of the tarragon.

 Before everyone headed into the kitchen, I showcased a few unusual ingredients including kaffir lime leaves, daikon radish, and tamarind paste, and I demo’d how to “hedgehog” a mango and slice and peel an avocado.

 I gave away two copies of No Whine with Dinner. Alex,a leader from New York, won a copy for knowing that in addition to seafood, Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium, a mineral that may lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis.

 Nick from Seattle, my other lucky winner, has four kids under the age of seven, so I just had to give him a book!!

NFI’s website, AboutSeafood.com, is a great resource with recipes as well as useful information about buying and cooking seafood and health and nutrition. Check it out …

2 responses to “A Mediterranean Small Bites Cooking Class and a Recipe for Green Pea Hummus”

  1. marla says:

    Great recipe! Will be linking back to this in my post tomorrow.

  2. Janice says:

    Thanks Marla! Hope all is well and that we see you sometime soon.

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