Saturday, August 29, 2015

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus

You don't have to be a vegan to love hummus. Yet, this vegan, chickpea based middle-eastern dish is great as a dip or a spread. Just dip with pita or tortilla chips for a filling snack. Spread some on a flatbread, fill with veggies and make a wrap. You have got yourself a quick lunch. My LO loves to eat this just by the spoonful. This recipe here can be made and stored in the fridge for several days.

Cooked Chickpeas - 2 cups (or use 1 can, washed and drained chickpeas)
Garlic - 1 clove
Salt - to taste
Extra virgin olive oil - 3 to 4 tbsp
Red pepper flakes - a pinch (optional)
Red bell pepper - 1 large
Tahini - 2 tbsp (see notes below)
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp

Roast the red bell pepper in the oven (refer link here for roasting in oven) or char on a flame. When charred all over place in a container with a tight fitting lid and allow it to sweat for 15 minutes. Remove skin and chop finely.
Place the chickpeas, garlic, tahini, red pepper flakes, salt and lemon juice in a blender. With the blender running, drizzle the olive oil and grind the hummus until coarse. Add the roasted red bell pepper (reserving some for garnish) and continue grinding until smooth. Check for seasoning and add salt/pepper flakes as needed. Serve with pita, tortilla, bread, celery, carrots or cucumber. 
Tahini is sesame butter. To make tahini at home, toast 2 tbsp of white sesame seeds, allow to cool and blend with 1/2 tsp of olive oil until smooth. Use as needed.
Bonus tip: For a super smooth hummus, try to peel the skin off the cooked chickpeas. For me, I love the skin and the texture it adds.