roasted red pepper dip

i’ve really wanted hummus all day today. when i make hummus at home, it hardly ever turns out the same way each time. i use ingredients that i have available and combine whichever sound the best. but this afternoon while i was looking at recipes online, i stumbled across mouhammara, a middle-eastern dip made with red peppers and walnuts, and decided to give it a try. even though it doesn’t include chickpeas or tahini, the dip has a really smooth and creamy consistency–and for so few ingredients, really has a lot of flavor.

3 red peppers

1-2 garlic cloves

1 T lemon juice

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

3/4 cup walnuts

1/3 cup olive oil

1 small sweet onion

roast the peppers at 350 on an oiled baking sheet for 20-30 minutes, turning every five minutes, until the skin begins to wrinkle and blacken. meanwhile, saute the onions until softened, 5 minutes at medium heat. when finished, add the onions and remaining ingredients to a blender and blend till smooth. when the peppers are finished and have cooled for 20 minutes, peel off the skin and discard the seeds. add to the blender & finish! serve with crackers, veggies or pita chips.

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parsley-feta hummus

sabra hummus has always been my favorite store-bought brand. it has a really smooth consistency & great flavor, with whole garbanzo beans and herbs on top. I wanted to try to create a rendition of the sabra hummus at home, and had a lot of parsley on hand, and this is what I came up with. traditional pesto with pine nuts, parmesan, basil and garlic would’ve been really good too I think, it just happened that I had a large jar of feta from last week’s black been tacos & walnuts in the fridge.

parsley-feta pesto:

blend one cup packed fresh parsley with one chopped green onion in a blender. add 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/4 cup olive oil, and blend until almost smooth. crumble 1/2 cup of feta and a handful of walnuts into the blender and pulse. add water to smooth if necessary.

even though a food processor is first on my list of “big things” to buy, I’ll admit that I like the consistency of hummus made in a blender even more.

basic hummus:

1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans

1/4 to 1/3 cup tahini

1-2 T. plain yogurt

1 T. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. salt

rinse and drain the garbanzo beans, reserving about a tablespoon. pour the rinsed beans into the blender, with the tahini, yogurt, salt, and lemon juice. add the oil, and turn the blender on. Add water until the consistency is how you’d like it. when the hummus was finished, I put about 1/4 of the pesto I had made into the hummus, mixing just slightly. throw the extra garbanzo beans on top.