I seem to be on a dip kick lately - Roasted Carrot Hummus, lots of Guacamole, avocado mashed with a little plain yogurt and garlic, just about anything else I can mix with yogurt, now this. It must be that the veggies are so much better this time of year. Although I'm not always dipping veggies; I've been getting lots of mileage out of pita chips too.
Red bell peppers are one of my favorite veggies. They've got great crunch, they're sweet, loaded with vitamins, and one of our local grocery stores almost always has them on sale for some reason, so whenever I hit that particular store, I stock up. I'll slice some for dipping, chop some into salads, roast one or two, and dice and freeze the rest for cooking with down the road.
This time, I decided to use one of the peppers in a hummus. It's funny, growing up, I always thought I hated hummus. Turns out it was just the packaged junk they used to sell back in the day. I'm pretty sure it was packets that you just added water or olive oil to and stirred. Knowing I'm Armenian, a lot of people thought they were being nice and would serve it whenever I was at their house, so I had to choke it down to be polite. Thankfully, I don't think anyone makes it like that nowadays, and once I had "real" hummus, I realized just what I'd been missing.
1 large red bell pepper (I think I'll up it to 2 next time)
2 cloves garlic
15.5 oz can chickpeas
1 T olive oil
1/2 t kosher salt (or 1/4+ t table salt since it's finer)
1/2 t pepper
1/4 to 1/2 t cayenne pepper
3 T fresh chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
1/3 c tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
- You can certainly use jarred red peppers, but I prefer to roast my own - plus it's easy. Slice off the top and pull out the stem. Slice in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and pith. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet and roast at 450⁰ until charred and crackly. If you want, to speed things up a bit, once the skin starts to brown and bubble up, you can switch on the broiler for a minute or so. Transfer to a covered bowl or brown paper lunch bag and seal it so that the steam can work on the skin for a few minutes. Once cooled, the skin should slide right off for you.
- Add all of the ingredients, including your roasted pepper(s), to the bowl of your food processor and let run until smooth and creamy. Make sure you stir the tahini well before measuring it out, to re-distribute the oil.
- To garnish, transfer to a serving bowl, use the back of a spoon to create a swirl pattern on the top and drizzle in a bit of olive oil, then add a sprinkle of additional cilantro.