I love love love fall. It’s my favorite season. I love the cool crisp air, and the fall colors and the golden fields and bare branches contrasting against the cool skies. And I love fall flavors and food that has. Lots of taste, lots of comfort. Roasted Red Pepper Hummus qualifies on both counts.
I think any hummus is perfect for fall. Rich, creamy and satisfying, it’s a perfect appetizer or snack, a quick, flavorful spread for a sandwich or toast, or a light supper. Hummus has a bit of “heft” to it.
About Roasted Red Pepper Hummus:
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus is no exception, but in addition, is also the perfect fall color. It also has a lot of what I think are fall flavors. Smoked paprika, cumin, a touch of cayenne and of course, lots of garlic. It’s has just a little spice, as the recipe is written, a touch of cayenne, but feel free to tinker to your taste.
And while there are lots of ways to serve your hummus, my favorite is to serve it with my homemade Baked Pita Chips, Herbed or Not. When I make those pita chips, I usually mix in some of my fave spices, herbs or spice blends with a little olive oil to brush on the chips before they’re baked. I like to make just a little extra and drizzle it over my hummus, too. It adds a little extra sumpin’ sumpin’ so the hummus doesn’t taste all of one flavor it keeps things interesting as you eat it. You can do that or drizzle with a touch of olive oil. A little smoked paprika and a few green herbs just make it look pretty.
Making Roasted Red Pepper Hummus:
Hummus is so easy to make. Just take your chickpeas, either homemade (See my Braised Chickpeas or Instant Pot Chickpeas) or canned (give them a rinse if they’re canned), a spoonful of tahini, juice of a lemon and a little olive oil and blend it up with any herbs or spices and of course, garlic and the roasted red pepper. I made mine in the food processor this time, and while it’s fine, there are ways to get a smoother hummus.
The first way to get a really smooth hummus is to remove the skins of the chickpeas, the second is to use a good blender or what I usually use, my Nutribullet, and last of all – canned chickpeas make a smoother hummus. If you remove the skins, don’t squirt the chickpeas out one by one by pinching them like I so often see done. Put them in a big bowl of water and rub the chickpeas between your fingertips to loosen the skins. Give the water a stir and the skins will float to the top where you can skim them off.
Another little secret? You don’t have to have expensive tahini to make hummus, although a little goes a long way and tahini keeps well in the fridge. You can make a simple Roasted Red Pepper & Chickpea dip (add a little extra liquid if it seems dry, either olive oil or water.) Or you can make hummus with another ground nut or seed or a prepared nut or seed butter. My favorite seed to use is sunflower seeds. I love the nutty taste but almond is very tasty, too. Peanuts taste a bit strong to me and overwhelm the rest of the flavors, but still makes a great “peanutty” dip. I just use my food processor or Nutribullet to make the “butter” and then add hummus ingredients. Taste and adjust. If it’s too thick, or not smoothing out, add in more olive oil or a little water.
Saving Money on Roasted Red Pepper Hummus:
I have a whole post on Hummus and Chickpeas with tips, comparisons and pricing info you might want to take a look at. While dried chickpeas are very inexpensive, canned chickpeas won’t break the bank. Really, the price of the chickpeas is the least of your issues with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. It’s the price of the Tahini and the red bell peppers that make up the bulk of the cost to make this.
While jarred bell peppers are usually a great quality, they’re usually pretty expensive. It takes about 12 minutes to roast off and peel your own bell peppers. Buy them at a low on sale, at the farmer’s market or grow your own if your season is long enough. That’s an iffy proposition in Minnesota without extending the growing season with covers of some sort.
While I never see tahini on sale, I do find it sometimes on the discount shelves or bins at the store. Like with most items, it’s usually just fine, even after the “best used by” date put on the jar by the producer. Once open, keep it upside down in the fridge. That forms what is basically an airtight seal and keeps it at it’s best much longer.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
- 1 large or 2 small red bell peppers or 2 or 3 jarred roasted red peppers
- 1/4 cup tahini or other nut or seed “butter”
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (about 1/3 pound)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Salt to taste
To roast the peppers:
Turn broiler on with rack positioned about five to six inches away from heating element. Line a sheet tray with foil. Half peppers topo to bottom, remove stem and seeds and place peppers skin side up in a single line (so they’re positioned right under the heating element when placed in oven.) Roast peppers until the pepper is charred, blistered and softened. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover so the peppers steam for about 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel away the skin, and working over a bowl to catch the juices, open the pepper and discard the skin and any tough ribs.
To make the Roasted Red Pepper Hummus:
In the bowl of a food processor or blender, add the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, and any juices from the bell peppers and process for a minute or two, stopping to scrape the sides. Add the garlic and process a few seconds longer.
Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Add in two additions to the processor and run for about a minute after each, stopping to scrape down the sides.
Add the roasted red peppers, then run for several minutes (being careful to follow instructions from the manufacturer so as not to overheat equipment) until the hummus is smooth and creamy.
If the hummus is too thick or grainy, add a little water, a bit at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Add spices and blend, scraping if necessary until a consistent color is reached. Taste and adjust seasoning.
If desired, garnish with olive oil, herbed olive oil, a bit of roasted pepper chopped and set aside, fresh herbs, black pepper or whatever spices, nuts, or seed you’ve used. Serve cold with pita chips and/or vegetables.
Note: Recipe as stated is only very mildly spicy. Increase spices to taste.