Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

FullSizeRenderMaking your own fresh, creamy hummus is a snap, and once you do it you’ll never want store bought again. We’ve been making a basic Spicy Hummus for years now (found a fave on Rachel Ray’s site) and I can’t remember the last time we bothered buying. Tahini paste—a paste made from ground sesame seeds—is the secret ingredient that makes hummus so, well, hummalicious. But I wanted to mix things up a bit, so I added a jar of Trader Joe’s Roasted Red Peppers to our basic Spicy Hummus recipe.

How was it? My handy taste testers Mitchell and Justin (sons) and Emily (boarder) said they loved it! (Too bad it looks so fleshy in the picture here. Rest assured, it tastes better than it looks!) The only thing that might improve it, would be an added teaspoon of my favorite seasoning, smoked Spanish paprika. I think the smokiness with the roasted peppers would take this dip up a notch. But that’s just my humble opinion.

Makes 6-8 servings

1 (14.5-ounce can) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (also called chickpeas)
1 jar (8 ounces) roasted red peppers, drained
2 rounded tablespoons tahini paste
¼ cup olive oil
½ of a lemon, juiced
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Course salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon)

Combine all ingredients in food processor bowl or blender and pulse until mixture is smooth and creamy. Transfer to small bowl and serve with corn tortilla chips or veggies. Or store in airtight container in frig for 2-3 weeks.

NOTE: Be sure to drain and pat the red peppers dry, or they add a lot of extra moisture to the dip.


FullSizeRenderSo easy, so fresh. The biggest challenge to making this delicious guacamole, is finding avocados at the perfect stage of ripeness. Too hard, and they won’t mash. Too soft, and they’ll have gone bad. It’s kind of like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. You have to look for avocados that are juuuuuuust right—when the leathery green skin yields slightly to pressure from your thumb. My son Mitchell likes freshly made guac so much, he says it’s his “chocolate,” meaning he craves it the way those with a sweet tooth crave the cocoa bean. We created this simple recipe when we couldn’t find a satisfactory ready-made version in the grocery store, and Mitchell’s been a happy camper ever since.

Makes 1 to 1 1/2 cups

2-3 ripe avocados
2-3 slices yellow onion, minced
Half of lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika, optional
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

In small bowl, combine all ingredients and mash. Serve with tacos, or dip guacamole with tortilla or pretzel chips. (Do I really need to tell anyone how to eat guac? I don’t think so!)