Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I have a delicious jar of tahini (sesame seed paste) that I purchased this spring at one of my favorite Middle Eastern markets.  I bought the tahini to make homemade hummus which I could eat on pretty much anything.

I put hummus on sandwiches, chips, veggies, and meats.  I eat it with crackers and olives.  If there is a sweet variation of hummus, I’ll probably give that a try, too.

My version of hummus is a combination of ingredients that I learned from my friend Sarah.  I have a fond memory of us standing together in her kitchen back in February whipping up some hummus before a party.  She likes to use a lot of tahini, and it gets pretty cemented into the jar, so she stirs it vigorously as she adds it to the chickpeas.  I guess tahini really is the “glue” that holds hummus together!  Sarah also uses a lot of olive oil, even drizzling some on the top of her finished hummus.

I think part of the fun of making hummus is that, like Sarah, I don’t measure the amounts of tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt that I add to the requisite chickpeas. The quantities are estimates, and making hummus is an opportunity to taste, tweak, and taste again until you achieve that smooth, savory spread that accents breads and crackers like no other.

Basic Hummus Recipe

I can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
approximately 1/2 cup of tahini
approximately 2 cloves of minced garlic
approximately 2 tablespoons lemon juice
generous sprinkling of salt (to your taste)
generous stream of extra-virgin olive oil

Puree the chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and salt together in a blender or food processor while streaming in extra-virgin olive oil until you reach the desired consistency.

There are varying schools of thought about the correct consistency of hummus.  Some folks like it smooth, almost like chickpea frosting … others, like my good friend, prefer a chunkier version.  I will leave the consistency up to you!

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Prepare Hummus as above, then stir in the following:

A couple of slices of roasted red peppers, pureed separately

Important:  When I make this hummus, I puree the roasted red peppers separately because if you add them directly to the hummus, you can make the hummus too watery.  I add a little of the pureed peppers to the hummus at a time, stirring to incorporate until the hummus reaches the right flavor and consistency.

I love how the roasted red peppers turn tan hummus to a soft, orange hue.  Yum.