So, I thought that once finals were over, I would become seriously dedicated to baking and cooking and, of course, shouting about my experimentations into the void of the blogosphere.
It turns out that summer is hot. And when it is hot and one does not have central air conditioning, one does not much want to bake or cook. It has been hovering around 90˚F in the Pittsburgh area for the last few days, and it is just torture when I turn the oven on. So, alas, there have been no new pies, no new breads...really nothing new.
Still, one can "cook" without the stove or the oven. Two of Karl's and my friends got together last week for a whirlwind cookout dinner before the final game of the Pens/Redwings hockey playoffs (boohoo, by the way!). Ariel and Dave had purchased ready-made kebobs from Whole Foods (which were really quite tasty) and we all worked together to make some veggie kebobs and potato salad. I brought over what has come to be one of my staples: roasted red pepper hummus. It is such a cinch to make if you have a food processor or blender and is a great twist on the usual hummus recipe. We had a great time grilling the kebobs and eating out on Ariel's deck while we admired her beautiful flower boxes.
(Aside: is it a sign of age/maturity when a person starts getting really into things like flowers and gardening? I have been seriously jonesing for a plot to call my own so I can grow some proper hyacinths and herbs and tomatoes and other delightful edibles!)
Anyway, here's my recipe for Roasted Red Pepper hummus. Add or subtract garlic depending on how much you like, and this tastes fine if you leave out the tahini (I know some people don't seem to like it!).
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Yields about 1 1/2 cups hummus
1 14.5 oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
2 cloves garlic
2 TBSP tahini
2-3 strips of roasted red pepper (out of can or jar is easiest, but you could always roast some yourself)
1-2 TBSP lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Put the garbanzo beans, garlic cloves, tahini, roasted red pepper, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and paprika (optional) in a food processor or blender and pulse until everything is chopped up and combined. (If you like chunkier hummus you can stop here and not add olive oil for a lower-fat delight). Stream in the olive oil while processing, just until it becomes smooth (about 1/4 cup).
Serve with toasted pita wedges, crispy vegetables like carrots, peppers, and celery, or tortilla chips. (Don't forget a frosty beverage!)