This moderately spicy hummus makes a great party dish. I dress it up with a topping of roasted red peppers combined with pine nuts and seasonings.
Friday night is usually DVD night here, and we normally try to pick something that we can watch as a family. But since our 8-year-old daughter was having a sleep-over at the neighbors’, we were able to watch something a little more adult. We chose Hustle & Flow, which we really liked. Terrence Howard’s performance was excellent.
Since we were planning to eat in front of the TV, I chose something simple: Spicy Red Pepper Hummus stuffed in whole wheat pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and a few calamata olives.
Spicy Red Pepper Hummus
Roasted red pepper adds so much flavor that you won't need much (or any) tahini in this hummus.
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas (2 15-ounce cans)
- cooking liquid from the beans (or water)
- juice of 1/2-1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons tahini (omit if cutting fat)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Harrisa , or other hot pepper sauce, to taste*
- chipotle chili powder (optional)
- salt (to taste)
- 10 ounces roasted red peppers
- toasted pinenuts
- additional chopped roasted red peppers
- lemon juice
- 1-2 pinches powdered chipotle pepper
- a sprinkle of sumac
- Throw the garlic into a running food processor (see Notes for blender option). Add the chickpeas and begin processing. Add the lemon juice and tahini. (I used half of a very large yet mild homegrown lemon. For regular lemons, I’d start with half, check the flavor, and add more if needed.) If needed, add 1/4 cup bean cooking liquid or water, just enough so that the chickpeas become a smooth paste. Add the cumin, the harrisa, chipotle powder, salt, and half of the roasted red peppers. Process until smooth. Taste for spiciness and add more harrisa as needed.
- Add the remaining roasted red peppers and pulse to coarsely chop.
- If you want, make a topping for the hummus by combining a tablespoon of toasted pine nuts with 2-3 tablespoons of chopped pepper. Add lemon juice and chipotle pepper to taste. Drizzle the top of the hummus with a little lemon juice (and if you really want spicy, add a little of the juice from a jar of pickled jalapeños.) Mound the topping in the center. Sprinkle with sumac.
Harrisa (also spelled harissa) is a Tunisian hot pepper sauce. I buy the Ziyad brand in a local Middle Eastern grocery store. If you can’t find harrisa, feel free to use any other spicy pepper sauce you have on hand. I started with a teaspoon of sauce and kept adding until it reached the spiciness we like, probably about 2 teaspoons. I also used about 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder just to increase the smoky flavor. Play with the seasonings and adjust them to your tastes.
For super-creamy hummus, use a Vitamix or other high powered blender. Start with about 1/2 cup of chickpea broth and add more if necessary.
Updated June 10, 2016 with a new photo and optional toppings.