10-minute hummus and vegetable wraps can cure what hangers you

You’d think that when your home office is upstairs from your kitchen, you could take advantage of the times you work remotely and slide cooking tasks more or less seamlessly into your day.

I love the idea of starting a pot of beans midmorning, for instance, and knowing they’ll be ready just in time for lunch. But most days that remains just an idea, because I’m too busy hopping among emails, Slacks, invoices, pitches, recipes, stories, meetings and more to add one more thing to the mix. I don’t usually start thinking about what to make for lunch until my stomach growls and my husband starts asking questions.

The less actual cooking required, the better, because if he has a meeting to run to and can’t handle cleanup duties, I don’t have to fit dishes into my break.

Leftovers are one option; I pride myself on my ability to turn previously cooked vegetables and beans, along with fresh greens, garnishes and dressing, into a hearty lunch salad. But sometimes the pickings seem particularly slim. When my husband opens the fridge and declares, “There’s nothing to eat,” I love proving him wrong.

These wraps from the great Lebanese writer Salma Hage’s latest book, “The Levantine Vegetarian,” seem almost like they were born in my own kitchen, because they use ingredients I always have around, even when the larder looks bare.

They’re so simple to make that I can practically hear some of you tapping out the comment: “Does this even need a recipe?” True, I didn’t require Hage to tell me how to heat up a tortilla, how to smear hummus onto it, how to top it with pickled and fresh vegetables and herbs, how to roll it up. But boy, did I appreciate the reminder that with the right choices, a lunch full of contrasting flavors and textures can satisfy me and my husband in about 10 minutes flat. And that hummus, store-bought or homemade, is just as good as a sandwich condiment as it is a dip. Hage herself writes that she makes such wraps frequently: “In most Middle Eastern households, a recipe like this is practically second nature.”

The recipe fulfills a seasonal requirement: As the days get longer, my preferred recipes get shorter, and they stay that way all lazy summer long.

Because as so many of you know, summer isn’t actually all that lazy when you have kids. Without school to occupy our teenager, we’ll be juggling those work hours with evermore requests for rides to practice, games and maybe — fingers crossed — a job. Then he, too, can start to learn the joys and challenges of multi-tasking.


Hummus and Pickled Vegetable Wraps

These wraps contrast crunchy pickled vegetables, creamy hummus and a warm tortilla, and take all of 10 minutes to put together, making them an ideal option for a quick lunch. As cookbook author Salma Hage writes, “In most Middle Eastern households, a recipe like this is practically second nature.” This is super-flexible and ripe for customization: Feel free to use your favorite fillings in addition to the hummus: chili crisp, cheese, other pickles, different herbs, spices — really, anything you like.

Storage: Not recommended for the finished wrap, but the hummus, vegetables and cilantro can be refrigerated separately for up to 1 week.

Two (8- to 10-inch) flour tortillas

½ cup store-bought or homemade hummus

1 medium ripe tomato, cored and thinly sliced

1 mini cucumber, thinly sliced

6 slices jarred pickled beets or other vegetables, drained

6 to 8 slices pickled jalapeños, drained

¼ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems

In a dry skillet over high heat, toast the tortillas until hot and charred in places, about 1 minute per side.

On each tortilla, spread ¼ cup hummus all over and arrange half of the vegetables and cilantro in a horizontal line along the bottom third, leaving a couple of inches bare on each side. To form open-ended wraps, fold up the bottom and then roll each from one side to the other. Or roll them like burritos: Fold the tortilla over each side on the left and right, then roll up from the bottom. Serve immediately.

Substitutions: Gluten-free? Use gluten-free tortillas, such as those made by Siete. No tortillas? Use lavash, pita, naan or other flatbread. For the pickled beets, you can use pickled carrots, turnips, cauliflower or any other pickled vegetable. Don’t want spice? Omit the pickled jalapeños. Dislike cilantro? Use parsley or mint.

Serves 2 (makes 2 wraps)

Nutrition | Per serving (1 wrap): 244 calories, 8 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 36 g carbohydrates, 650 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol, 7 g protein, 6 g fiber, 5 g sugar

— Adapted from “The Levantine Vegetarian” by Salma Hage (Phaidon, 2024).

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