When you live in New York, there are times where you feel as if you should be harnessing the might of the city – you feel the need to go to every dinner invitation, every concert you see, every event that sounds too good to be true, etc. With spring just around the corner, and everyone aching to get out of their stuffy apartments to breath some fresh air before the stifling heat of summer rolls in, there seems to be so much to do and simply not enough time in which to do it. Kramer and I, like many New Yorkers, go into a sort of hibernation in the winter, although this winter could hardly be called a winter at all – I think that it only snowed twice, for goodness sake. Now that the sun is out later than 4:30 PM and the weather seems to be staying in the high 50s or 60s, I feel compelled to get out of the house. We’ve already got a packed calendar for the next few months, between comedy shows, concerts, dinner engagements, and visitors, it’s hard to remember not to jump at the chance to do anything ever and to take the time to relax, spend at least a few hours together, just the two of us, every weekend, and of course, remember to do those pesky little things like cleaning and laundry (oh, the horror).
In the past, I’ve made pita bread, pita chips, and roasted garlic hummus, so I wanted to share with you my other favorite hummus recipe: this red pepper hummus. I first made this after being inspired by the jar of roasted red bell peppers that has been sitting in my fridge for what seems like eternity. I always look at it and think, I need to use that soon, but there it sat. Finally, I decided it was time for this game to be over and used it in this recipe. I admit, fresh bell peppers would have been even better, but they’re not quite in season, especially up here in New York, and the jarred peppers worked just as well. It’s slightly sweet and perfect for dipping chips and vegetables alike, and even on wraps and sandwiches. I like to garnish mine with a sprinkling of pine nuts for texture and some extra red pepper flakes for a bit of heat, but it’s great just on its own. If you are bored with your usual hummus, this is a great alternative, and it couldn’t be more beautiful with its pale red hue.
- 3 large red bell peppers or 1 jar roasted bell peppers
- 1 15 oz. canned/rinsed/drained garbanzo beans or 1 lb. dried/soaked/drained garbanzo beans
- ½ cup tahini
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- pine nuts, for garnish
- red pepper flakes, for garnish
- First, if you have fresh bell peppers, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Cut your peppers in half, removing the pith and seeds, and place skin side up on a roasting tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until nice and charred. Allow the peppers to become cool enough to handle, then simple peel away the skin and roughly chop the peppers so that they will all fit in your food processor.
- Add the chopped roasted red peppers, garbanzo beans, tahini, minced garlic, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, paprika, and salt to your food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. This keeps well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.