Tantalize your taste buds with this richly spiced hummus spread. Roasting large amounts of garlic helps to impart a sweet smooth flavor (and it keeps well for other uses, make extra so you can always have some on hand). A perfect complement for any summer party or to take along to your favorite picnic spot!
2 15-oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 large red pepper
3 heads fresh garlic
1 cup Italian parsley (large flat leaves)
2 medium green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
6 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
Juice of 3 fresh lemons
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ cup good quality, fruity olive oil
1 dash cayenne pepper, or to taste
For the garnish:
Hungarian paprika, hot or smoked, to your preference
Plastic storage bag
Container with lid
Rinse the chickpeas and set aside.
Roast the pepper:
Slice the red pepper in half and take out seeds. Place the pepper halves on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Roast the halves under a preheated broiler until the skin is blackened. Remove from the broiler and place in a plastic bag to steam and cool. Remove the skin, dice the peppers and set aside.
[Chef’s Note: Allowing the peppers to steam in the sealed plastic bag helps to release the skin from the pepper flesh and makes removing the skin a bit easier. Do NOT rinse them under running water, as this will rinse away all the flavor.]
Roast the garlic:
Remove any of the loose skins but leave the heads intact. Cut the top of the garlic head off (about ½” off the top) and drizzle with the olive oil. Season lightly with the salt and pepper. Wrap the garlic heads in foil, leaving a tiny opening at the top for the steam to escape. Place the foil package on a cookie sheet and roast in a 325° degree oven for about 1 hour, or until soft. Let cool and then squeeze the soft garlic out of the papery skins.
Make the hummus:
Place the roasted red pepper, the roasted garlic, parsley, onions and rosemary in a food processor and pulse gently to mince finely. Add the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, cumin, olive oil, and tamari or soy sauce to the food processor and continue to pulse until a thick paste is formed. If necessary, add more tahini, lemon juice, or olive oil to achieve your desired consistency.
Season the hummus with the cayenne pepper to your desired spiciness. Transfer the roasted garlic hummus to a container with a tight-fitting lid and store in the refrigerator overnight.
[Chef’s note: Making the hummus a day ahead allows time for the all the flavors to meld together.]
Spread the roasted garlic hummus to about a ½- inch thickness on a decorative plate. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the Hungarian paprika for color. Serve with sliced toasted pitas, baguettes or vegetable crudités.
Recipe and photo by Lia Soscia. Originally published September 13, 2010.