Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus snack plate

The rain was really coming down outside, beating and splatting against the windows, with a gust of wind every now and again causing a whistling howl against the window pane.  Even though only mid-afternoon, it was clear that this was going to be a day to stay In.  The type of day when it's tempting to light all the candles in the house, curl up on the couch with a warm blanket over your lap, a good book in your hand, and a comfort snack by your side.

When days like these come my way, I always find my way to the kitchen at some point, and I usually end up making something sweet and something savory.  This time sweet came in the form of Teddie's Apple Cake, found on Food52, created by an unknown author a long time ago, and loved by nearly all of the people who commented there.  It seemed the perfect recipe to use up a few more of my apples and to attempt a gluten-free conversion, something I've been playing with lately.

So as the Autumn rain pounded the windows, I stirred sugar, olive oil and eggs, vanilla & cinnamon; gluten-free flour mix and crisp, sweet-tart apples and poured them all into a bundt pan mold.  It wasn't long before the cozy scent of baking cinnamon and apple filled the kitchen and wound its way around the corner into the living room by the chair where J, who was enjoying an afternoon read, perked up and realized that there were good things coming his way. (Side note: the cake was excellent, even made without the raisins, of which I am not a fan.  However, I would substitute applesauce for part of the oil and reduce the sugar by 1/3 next time).

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus with Life-Changing Loaf of Bread
As the cake baked, I moved onto Snack B, a Roasted Red Pepper Hummus that I created using the Preserved Red Peppers I found on Hank Shaw's blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook and chickpeas I soaked overnight and had boiled that morning.  On the counter sat the remaining half of a loaf of Sarah B's Life-Changing Loaf of Bread, waiting to be slathered with something delectable. (If you haven't made your own preserved red peppers, no problem: they are readily available in jars at your local grocery store).

As I chopped and stirred and baked, I thought about an interview I'd watched via Facebook of comedian Aziz Ansari talking about his chef girlfriend:  "Anyone who's single, date a chef.  They'll say amazing things like, 'Oh, I don't know if you're hungry but I just made this delicious snack', which is the greatest sentence I've ever heard."

And I thought: that is a good sentence.  And I also thought: that's Love.  Food is love.  Making food is a way of showing that you care.  After all, you gotta feed everybody.  I'm no chef; but for me, creating food is my absolute favorite pastime, especially if I have someone around to feed it to.  Especially if it's pouring rain outside and nobody's going anywhere.

Do you want a snack?

Try this one.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

If you are starting with dry chickpeas, soak 1/2 cup / 1 dl chickpeas overnight in 1.5 cups/3 dl of water. Drain the remaining water and put them in a pot with enough water to cover by 1 inch/2.5cm.  Bring to a boil, and the reduce heat to medium.  Allow to simmer, uncovered, for 55 min.  Add 1 teaspoon of salt and boil for another 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, allow the chickpeas to cool, and then drain, saving the cooking water.

In a food processor or blender, combine:

Chickpeas from recipe above; or 1 can chickpeas, drained, juices reserved
3/4 cup roasted red pepper, drained 
1.5 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of olive oil1 tablespoon Tahini
1 garlic clove, peeled and root end removed
1 teaspoon of salt, plus more to taste

Blend until completely smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add some of the reserved liquid until it reaches your desired consistency. Taste; add more lemon juice and salt as needed.

Makes 1.5 cups / 3 dl.

Serve on crackers, toast or with sliced vegetables for a delicious snack.

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