While we’re still in the throes of winter, spring is just around the corner. If you’re anything like us, our minds are thinking beach, but our tummies are thinking comfort food.
For a delicious snack that’s healthy, nourishing and comforting, we turned to our friend Chef Maria Loi of New York’s Loi Estiatorio restaurant and author of The Greek Diet for her famous Hummus recipe.
We served our hummus with fresh veggies and warm pita bread. In the spirit of the Greek Islands, we went with a color palette of blues and white for our Fiesta dishes. Lapis, Turquoise and White are as crisp and fresh as the carrots, celery and snap peas we served for dipping.
If you’ve never made your own hummus, it’s nothing like the kind you buy in the grocery store. It’s so simple to make.
In this recipe, while you’re welcome to use canned chickpeas, we encourage you to try using dried chickpeas instead. Served slightly warm along with fresh warm pita bread — you’re in for a treat!
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 cups dried chickpeas or one 16-ounce can chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (if using dried chickpeas)
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Warmed whole-grain pita bread and/or vegetables, for serving
- Roast the pepper by placing it over an open flame at medium-high heat on your stovetop. Rotate it consistently using tongs until the entire outside is charred, about 10 to 15 minutes. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to steam for 15 minutes. Remove the pepper from the bowl, peel the skin using your hands, remove the seeds, and chop. Set aside.
- If you're using canned chickpeas, skip to Step 4. If you are using dried chickpeas, place them in a medium pot. Cover the chickpeas with water, stir in the baking soda, and allow them to soak overnight.
- The next day, rinse and drain the soaked dried chickpeas. Heat a medium pot over medium heat until hot. Add the chickpeas, onion and enough water to cover the contents of the pot by 3 inches. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook the chickpeas for about 45 minutes, skimming as needed to remove foam, until soft. Drain the chickpeas and reserve the onion. Allow the chickpeas to cool.
- If using canned chickpeas, saute the onion over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Combine the roasted pepper, garlic, and tahini in a food processor or blender. Process, scraping down the sides of the processor as necessary, until smooth. Add the chickpeas, sauteed onion (or reserved onion if using soaked chickpeas), lemon juice, and pepper flakes (if using). Process, scraping down the sides again if necessary, until smooth. With the machine running, gradually add the 1/2 cup olive oil and process until the mixture is emulsified. Add salt to taste and more pepper flakes, if desired. Spoon the hummus into a serving dish.
- To serve, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and pair with warm whole-grain pita brea and/or fresh vegetables, including celery, carrots, and sliced red and green peppers.