Monday, July 15, 2013

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I originally posted this recipe in July 2009 during the first year of Feast Everyday  --- and recently I have been asked how to make it --- so here it is again. 

Keys to a good hummus:  you need lots of salt for the chickpeas and lots of lemon to brighten it up.  Be sure to use red peppers in brine not oil.  And to make it smooth be sure you have enough liquid and oil, then let it puree in the processor for a long time. 

Sarah recently showed me how to remove the skins or papers from the chickpeas but I never bother to do that.  But you can if you have the time!  It is supposed to make a smoother hummus.

I usually serve it with celery sticks and Stacey's Whole Wheat Naked pita chips. 

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
adapted from Mediterranean, pg. 38

Fyi - I decided to make this variation of the classic, because I had an opened jar of roasted red peppers in the fridge.

3/4 cup dried chickpeas ( I used 2.5 cups already cooked; I now use 3 cans - drained and rinsed)
juice of 2 lemons ( I use 3)
2 garlic cloves, sliced ( I used 6 minced)
2 T. Olive oil ( I used the good stuff: Prato Longo from Long Meadow Ranch or Greek EVOO)
2/3 cup tahini paste (It's sesame paste --it comes in a jar -- Greek)
Jar of roasted red peppers, drained, dried, and chopped roughly (about 5) (don't use ones in oil)
salt and pepper to taste
extra olive oil and cayenne pepper
parsley for garnish

Soak chickpeas overnight in lots of cold water. Drain and cover with fresh water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then reduce heat and simmer gently for about 1 hour, until soft, but not mushy. Drain. I salted them and coated lightly in oil, because I made them in advance and stored them in the refrigerator in a plastic container.  (In 2013 I now use 3 cans drained and rinsed.)

I put everything in my food processor, except the roasted red peppers because I still wasn't sure that the red peppers were going to work, and whizzed it together. You can stop here if you want the classic hummus.

But, I was kind of excited about seeing what the roasted red peppers would add in flavor, and what color it would become. Would it become a pretty red or ugly mush?

Curiosity won. I put them in and pulsed it a few times and scraped down the sides. Wow! the red peppers took over beautifully.

But, I had to re-balance it with a third lemon and more salt and olive oil. The key to good hummus seems to be lots of fresh lemon and enough salt. Don't be shy with the salt. Chickpeas, and most beans, require more salt than you think. Tom wanted more garlic, so I put more in for him.
We served it with store bought baked pita chips, but regular pita bread sliced into triangles work well, especially if toasted, to give them some structure for dipping in the hummus.
Here's the cookbook I used -- I pick up regional cookbooks like this in used bookstores for a few bucks -- they tend to explain the ingredients and some of the history behind the dish -- and this one has lots of great photos with step by step instructions. Inexpensive, yet very helpful, and inspiring.

Originally posted July 2009


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