While I have been known to whip up a lazy hummus with canned chickpeas and whatever I find in my fridge, I find my best recipes always start with good quality dried chickpeas. Not only are they more affordable than their canned counterparts, but they impart a nuttiness and depth of flavour lost in their tinned cousins.
Good recipes, especially simple ones, require good ingredients.
For what it’s worth, I like using Grain brand dry goods, since they work directly with Canadian farmers to source the best products. Not only are you guaranteed freshness and full flavour, but you’re also supporting Canadian farms! They actually have a Meet the Farmers page on their website so you know exactly where your produce is coming from. Love it. (*This post isn’t sponsored by them, I just really like the company.)
Turns out- while that is convenient- it’s not the secret to dreamy, creamy hummus.
I’ve tried lots of tricks in the past to get that perfect smooth and fluffy consistency. I’ve peeled the skins off individual chickpeas (labour intensive, time consuming and- while I agree it helps- not worth the trouble, in my opinion). I’ve soaked chickpeas overnight. I’ve pressure cooked them. I’ve shelled them fresh.
The best trick I’ve learned? Use a blender. Add some of that wonderful chickpea cooking liquid and add it all in HOT. The mixture will thicken as it cools, but using a blender while the ingredients are hot and loose eliminates the grittiness I kept encountering in my food processor batches.
In the recipe below I blend my basic hummus ingredients and my flavourful inclusions separately but if you have a powerful Vitamix, this can be done all in one step! (just one more use for the legendary Vitamix…) Sadly, I do not have one (yet!). I just have a regular ol’ blender, so I do it in batches and live vicariously by using my friends’ Vitamixes when I can.
Now, for the inclusions. I’m sure you’ve tried roasted pepper hummus before. So had I. This time, however, we’re throwing a curve ball by adding Pomegranate Molasses- a sweet, tangy sauce used in Levantine cooking. Between the roasted peppers and the molasses, this hummus becomes a new beast; a stunning love-child between hummus and muhammara.
|Roasted Red Pepper Hummus with Pomegranate Molasses|| |
- 1½ cups good-quality dried chickpeas
- 3 large, red bell peppers
- ⅓ cup tahini
- ½ cup olive oil + extra for brushing the peppers
- 1 large lemon, juice and zest
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp chilli flakes
- 2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses + extra for drizzle
- Optional garnishes:
- Powdered sumac
- Olive oil
- Pomegranate molasses
- Parsley, finely chopped
- Toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
- Place dried chickpeas in a large, heavy bottomed pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 1 hour.
- Slice bell peppers in half lengthwise, remove stem and seeds, and brush with olive oil on all sides. Place, skin side up, on a large baking sheet. Broil at 500 degrees on the top rack of your oven for 10-15 minutes, until the skin is charred and black. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cool, the charred skin should peel off easily. Set aside.
- Top chickpeas up with additional water, so that the legumes are all submerged under a few inches of liquid. Bring to a boil once again and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until chickpeas are quite tender and easily mashed between your fingers- this will be longer than you usually cook chickpeas for. Depending on how fresh they are, this can take up to 2 hours. Top with additional cooking water as needed if the mixture gets too dry.
- Drain cooked chickpeas, reserving the cooking liquid. Place HOT chickpeas into a blender with ⅓ cup of the cooking liquid and the tahini. Puree until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed and adding more of the cooking liquid if the mixture is too dry. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while the blender is running. This will continue to smooth the mixture as it emulsifies. Spoon the majority of the chickpea mixture out of the blender and set aside.
- Place roasted peppers, lemon juice and zest, salt, cumin, chilli flakes and pomegranate molasses in the blender and puree until smooth. Scrape out and add to chickpea mixture. Mix well. Season with additional lemon juice and salt to taste, if needed.
- Serve at room temperature drizzled with additional olive oil and pomegranate molasses (plus additional garnishes, as desired), alongside toasted pita or fresh vegetables. Keeps in refrigerator for up to a week.