20 December 2008

The Red Pepper Hummus Lady

Tonight at Steve and Janell's party, someone asked me if I was the "Red Pepper Hummus Lady."  The answer is more complicated than it might seem, for, while I did bring red pepper hummus to the party that I did make, the real red pepper hummus lady is Nigella Lawson. Didn't you all hear her on NPR recently?  She suggested adding roasted red peppers to your hummus to make it more festive for the holidays.  I thought that sounded like an okay idea, but didn't really think I'd ever try it.  However, a couple of weeks ago I was making hummus and something went horribly wrong.  Since I have an aversion to following recipes, I had put either too much salt or too much tahini and not enough lemon in the hummus.  As I desperately searched my refrigerator, sure that I had another lemon rolling around somewhere in there, I came across half a jar of roasted peppers.  Thinking that the acidity from the preserved peppers might make up for the lack of lemon and over salted and over tahinied humus, I remembered what Nigella said, and I threw the peppers in the food processor with the hummus.  I still wasn't sure how it would turn out, but I had to go, and I had to bring something to the party, so I threw it in a bowl and left (I had made a double batch, and packed the rest in crockery for book club later that week.)  I've now taken this hummus to three parties, and it's been a big hit every time, and it does elevate your pedestrian dish of hummus to a slightly more intense and festive dip.  Thanks Nigella!  And thanks Janell, who throws awesome parties with tables full of delicious food and a beautifully decorated house.

Red Pepper Hummus Lady Dip
(I think I can call this my recipe, because I created the hummus recipe--but the idea was Nigella's)

2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 c. tahini
1/4 c. olive oil
one fresh lemon, juiced
3 cloves garlic
1/2 of a big jar of roasted red peppers, drained and rinsed*
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 t. smoked paprika (I'm using this in everything these days)
a drizzle of olive oil for garnish

In the bowl of your food processor, pulse tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, 1 t. salt and garlic.  After ingredients are fully incorporated, add beans and red peppers blend for about one minute in food processor.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper and lemon juice if needed.

To serve, make a pretty swirl on the top of the hummus and drizzle olive oil into the swirl.  Grind a few grinds of black pepper on top.

*For anyone who lives in Provo, Albertson's has big jars of roasted red peppers on sale 2 for $4.00.  You might want to get some for your food storage.

p.s.--I decided that from now on I'm going to get one really tasty treat recipe and bring it to every holiday party of the season.  I stocked up on pita chips, tahini, roasted red peppers and lemons, and now I don't have to stress about what to bring to a party.  I have three more parties to go this season and I already know what I'm bringing and have all of the ingredients. 

Maybe everyone else in the world already knows this trick.  I'm admittedly bad at simplifying and streamlining, and this epiphany represents a big step forward for me.


Writermama said...

wow, i'm living vicariously through all your parties. thanks for the recipe. would it work in a blender? i have no food processor, and their complexity scares me.

The Fam said...

Yes, I've made it in a blender until this Thanksgiving, when I got a food processor. It's a little harder, and you have to do smaller batches, and I've been known to make a chunky hummus when it wouldn't blend all the way.