Just in time for BBQ Season


Local cookbook author Dina Guillen has a great new cookbook out that’s perfect for your al fresco dining plans, Plank Grilling: 75 Recipes for Infusing Food with Flavor Using Wood Planks.

PlankGrilling Cover

We interviewed Dina when her first cookbook came out, so when Plank Grilling came across my desk, I couldn’t wait to try some of the recipes. Dina’s recipe for Beet Hummus (below) is one of her favorites.

If you’d like to taste some of these delicious recipes, get an autographed copy of her cookbook AND do some good, her book launch is scheduled for April 6 at Mulvaney’s from 6-9 PM, an event that will also benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Beet Hummus

Beet Hummus
Plank preference: Cedar
Makes 2 cups

3 small beets (about 1 pound), trimmed and peeled
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 (15.5-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons tahini
Juice of 1 large lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, or 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts, for garnish (optional)

Soak the plank for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

Cut the beets in half and toss with the oil, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper.

Prepare the plank for grilling according to the instructions on page 12. Place the beets, cut side down, on the toasted side of the plank. Close the lid and grill for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Once the beets are cool enough to handle, roughly chop them and place them in the bowl of a food processor.

Add the garbanzo beans, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper to the food processor. Blend until smooth, 20 to 30 seconds. Garnish with the parsley or pine nuts.

(c)2014 By Dina Guillen. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Plank Grilling: 75 Recipes for Infusing Food with Flavor Using Wood Planks by permission of Sasquatch Books.

Photography by Rina Jordan



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1 Comment so far ↓

  • Craig | Apr 3, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Another great plank grilling book! This one comes with some really nice photography, and, as the Beet Hummus recipe above demonstrates, some non-traditional recipes to try. I recommend the book with a couple of qualifiers. The book comes with a couple pointers that are not quite accurate. First, don’t soak your plank for 24 hours. Much of the flavor from Western Red Cedar and other planks comes from the oils or tannins in the wood. Soaking for as long as 24 hours can leach some of those flavorful tannins out of the wood. Second, just because wood at a lumber yard is labeled untreated, does not mean it doesn’t have chemicals. Wood at a lumber yard is manufactured for the construction industry, not food preparation. Think petroleum lubricants in saws, etc. Grilling planks should be manufactured specifically with food in mind. The planks at are manufactured using only food grade lubricants in all the equipment and are produced to be used as a food preparation tool.