Couscous, hummus…I seem to have a Mediterranean theme going. Over the last several years, I’ve developed a love for Mediterranean food, especially Greek. It’s all just so fresh and healthy and delicious. Gyros, pita bread, feta cheese, Greek yogurt, tzatziki sauce (oh. my. gosh.), baklava, Greek pizza (not technically Greek, but still good – and if you’ve never had the Greek pizza at California Pizza Kitchen, there’s something seriously lacking in your life).
By the way, Tarpon Springs, Florida is the largest Greek community in the country and has the best pita bread, tzatkiki sauce, baklava and Greek dressing I’ve ever tasted. Go there. Just do it.
And then there’s hummus. Hummus is where it all started for me. I lived in a very interesting/adventurous foodie household my junior year of college. We went on a fiber binge for a few months until realizing we were consuming about a 40-year-old man’s daily amount of fiber each day…whoops. We had fondue parties. We ate McDonald’s every day (sometimes more than once a day) for a few weeks trying to win a Monopoly. (Gross, I know. And we didn’t win anything.) We made cookies for our neighbors and sometimes just because. We would go grocery shopping and only use British accents. Somewhere in all this craziness, I tried hummus for the first time. Oh and it was heavenly. There’s really nothing else like it. Smooth or just a bit grainy, garlicky, fresh, slightly nutty. And somehow I never made it at home until today.
- 1-14 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Tahini (sesame paste)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 roasted red pepper
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Sprinkle of paprika (optional)
To roast the pepper, preheat the broil setting on the oven and line a baking sheet with foil. Rub about a teaspoon of vegetable oil over the pepper and place under the broiler.
Watch until it starts to blacken and keep turning the pepper until the top is blackened and the sides are slightly blackened, about 5-10 minutes.
Take it out of the oven, place it in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap or foil. Leave it until it’s cool to the touch, about 20 minutes, and peel off the skins. Remove the pepper from the stem and scrape out the seeds.
For the hummus, place the garlic in a food processor and whir until minced. Add the remaining ingredients and process until you reach the consistency you want. If you want it smoother, you may want to add more lemon juice and/or olive oil. Sprinkle with paprika and serve.
I don’t even know why it’s so funny. Maybe because I imagined the poor brontosaurus saying he brought hummus in a forlorn, slightly nerdy voice. I am so that weirdo who would bring the hummus!