Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rosemary and Red Pepper Hummus

Hummus is a middle eastern spread. It dates back to ancient Egypt, Syria, and Greece - 7000 years ago! The word "hummus" is the Arabic translation of "chickpea". "Garbanzo" is the Spanish translation of the word "chickpea", which is what we commonly call the bean now days. This is my recipe for hummus...

Rosemary and Red Pepper Hummus

2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed butter)
juice of 1 large lemon (to taste)
1 small to large roasted red pepper, depending on preference
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoons fresh rosemary
1/4 cup water (more or less, depending on texture)
1/4 cup Extra Virgin olive oil

In a food processor, add beans, tahini and 1/2 the lemon juice. Pulse until mixture is finely chopped. Add the red pepper, crushed garlic cloves, rosemary, and 1/2 the water. With processor running, add in the olive oil and puree until smooth. If mixture appears very thick and isn't processing smoothly, a little more water. Once pureed, taste for flavor. The garlic will seem strong, but will mellow after resting. Add more lemon juice to taste. I like to let it sit in the refrigerator overnight to let the flavors blend, though it isn't necessary. To serve, spread into serving dish, drizzle with 1 additional tablespoon of olive oil, and top with a few sprigs of fresh rosemary. Serve with veggies, pita bread/chips, or even fresh fruit (such as pears). Hummus is also great served as a spread on sandwiches and wraps.

You can use canned garbanzo beans for the recipe above, just make sure you rinse them well. I used dried beans by simply soaking them overnight in water, then draining (to make sure they are free from dirt), adding to a large saucepan, topping with fresh water, and simmering until tender.  I try to cook up an extra bit to use for other meals. Roasted Garbanzo beans are a great snack!
Rosemary and Red Pepper Hummus
The picture above is a recent double batch that I made for a bridal shower. I was short on red peppers, so I was only able to add 1/2 the amount I normally would have. It was still delicious, though! And the recipe is fairly flexible - up the garlic or try adding sundried tomatoes or other flavorings. Hummus is a healthy alterative to other dips and spreads. It is full of fiber and healthy oils. Because beans are fairly inexpensive, this is a low-cost alternative to pre-made dips.

I hope you enjoy!

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