Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Hummus is something that I was always scared of as a kid. I think that’s because I didn’t really know what was in it. I’ve tasted it a few times that I can remember, but never really liked it. Though, I’ve always heard that it’s a really good and healthy snack. A few weekends ago, we went to a Mediterranean restaurant with a couple friends and they ordered the hummus. It was AMAZING. I think my tastebuds have changed – and so, I decided to make my own.

After researching online, I found a recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Hummus at Cooks Illustrated. I am a huge fan of Cooks Illustrated, as you’ll come to find out, because they test recipes hundreds of times if needed to get it right. This one appealed to me because I LOVE roasted bell peppers. I’ll have to do a post about how to make your own soon.

I also decided that using store bought tahini wasn’t good enough for me, I had to make my own (I couldn’t find any after two stores and gave up, but that doesn’t really matter, does it?). Tahini is a sesame seed paste, so I hoped it wouldn’t be hard to make. After researching online with The Google (as my husband calls it), turns out it’s pretty simple. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1(14-ounce) can chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup jarred roasted red peppers (rinse and dry)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 3 tablespoons juice from 1 to 2 lemons
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

The hummus recipe calls for 6 tablespoons of tahini, but tahini will last in the fridge for months, so I used 2 cups of sesame seeds and a 1/2 cup vegetable oil. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spread the sesame seeds in a baking pan. Toast them for about 8 to 10 minutes until you can smell them, but they don’t brown very much. Let them cool completely.

Add them to the bowl of your food processor and add the vegetable oil. Let it rip for about 5 minutes or until smooth. You’re shooting for a thick consistency, but smooth and pourable.

And that’s tahini! Pretty simple and worth the pennies you’ll save. Store it in the fridge in an air tight container.

To start on the hummus, take 6 tablespoons of your homemade tahini and whisk in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Then throw the chickpeas, roasted red peppers, garlic, salt, and pinch of cayenne into the bowl of your food processor.

Blend for 15 seconds and scrape the bowl down – at this point, you’ll see it’s starting to get some great color from the peppers.

Next, stream in the lemon juice while the machine is running. Scrape again. Here, I’ll add that I have a great trick for getting every bit of lemon juice out of your lemon, or any other citrus for that matter – tongs! As Alton Brown, one of my culinary heros, says – who needs a uni-tasker!


Last step! Add the oil-tahini mixture and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl sprinkle with parsley or topping of your choice and let stand 30 minutes to let the flavors become friendly.

Serve with pita bread and you’ve got a great appetizer for entertaining, or even an everyday snack!

My husband did note that me putting it in a black bowl made it look a little Halloween-ish. To which I replied, well it’s almost October!

Buon appetito!

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