Friday, October 14, 2011

Grilled Pepper Hummus

Peppers can be fun to grow because there are so many different kinds and flavors to choose from. This year we grew ‘Early Sunsation’ Bell Pepper in the Edible Garden. Peppers like warm soil and full sun. The plants will stop producing fruit if left unpicked. So harvest away!

Garden Chef Christina Curry gave visitors some great tips on how to use peppers in hummus. You can roast them in the oven, throw them on the grill, or even turn them over the flame on a gas stove. The green ones tend to cook faster, so you want to remove them from the heat sooner than the rest. After they are cooked, throw the peppers in a paper bag to steam them. Do not rinse. You can use a paper towel to quickly wipe off the charred parts, if you so desire.

Before putting your chick peas in the food processor, be sure to rinse them. You don’t want the residual brine from the can to ruin the flavor.

Ideally, you want to use tahini paste (not tahini sauce) for this recipe. The paste is less watery. Tahini can have a bitter taste, but Middle Eastern or Greek tahini is less bitter than the kinds that come from East Asia. Tahini paste can be found at most natural food stores. It comes from sesame seeds, so it will be located near the peanut butter and other nut butters. Sesame oil can be used as a substitute in a pinch.

Grilled Pepper Hummus

2 bell peppers
2 T + 1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups chickpeas
1 clove garlic
3 T lemon juice
2 T tahini
flat leaf parsley, to taste
kosher salt & black pepper, to taste

To grill the peppers, remove the seeds and cut into pieces. Coat lightly with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill over high heat until tender. Allow the peppers to cool and gently remove the skin. Place the peppers along with remaining ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Serve with toasted French bread or pita chips.

Explore more Garden Chef recipes here.

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