• 2 large red bell peppers, seeded, roasted and cut into strips
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can garbanzo or chick peas, reserve liquid
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons tahini or sesame paste
  • 1 to 1 1 /2 teaspoons kosher salt (check for taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Pinch (just a pinch) of cayenne pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons reserved liquid
  • Garnish with a few sprigs of fresh cilantro or parsley

Summer Fest is the exciting summer-long garden party, where the Food Network and bloggers like me come together to bring you our best dishes for fresh summer produce. No summer garden party could be complete without the pepper! Oh, where do I begin? Our guest the pepper comes in all shapes, colors, sizes and of course flavors.

I chose to use red bell peppers to inspire me this week because they are one of my favorites. The color is amazing. Its’ sweetness is delightful. I love the ease of roasting them and how much money I can save when simply doing it myself.  It actually takes very little time and effort. You can simply purchase what is needed for this recipe– and that would be two large red bell peppers– or you can buy red bell peppers in bulk when on sale. I store roasted peppers in an airtight container with just a bit of olive oil and they last for a few weeks in the refrigerator. They do have to be refrigerated however. The olive oil does not affect the flavor in any way. Sometimes if I feel like it, I add a few garlic cloves, too.

Did you know?

The red bell pepper is actually a green bell pepper that was allowed to ripen. This beautiful bell-shaped pepper is not actually a vegetable, but a fruit.  Bell peppers are generally considered to be vegetables in culinary contexts however.

What’s in a name? Because peppercorns were such a high commodity at the time, Christopher Columbus called this bell-shaped fruit a “pepper’ when he brought the plant back to Europe.

When I think of red bell peppers the first thing that comes to mind (besides eating them raw) is roasting … then this recipe for red pepper hummus. This hummus recipe is silky and smooth and tastes terrific!  We enjoyed this roasted red pepper hummus with homemade falafel and pita bread. It was delicious! Not braggin’ just sayin’. You must make these little treats. But be forewarned, they are addicting! It’s almost impossible to dip only one into this hummus. If you’re like me you’ll eat two or three (okay, so I ate five!)

Cut the two peppers in half. Now gently pull the seeds and stem off trying to leave as much bell pepper as you can. Just look at that color!

With the palm of your hand, press each bell pepper half down. This will insure that each half gets broiled all over. Place bell peppers on a baking sheet or you can use the bottom of your broiler pan just like I do. Drizzle a little olive oil over top and broil for a few minutes (checking on your peppers every so often). I set my oven to Broil 3. This will take between 10 to 12 minutes.

Your bell peppers should they like this

Now place in a foil pouch or paper bag.

By closing the roasted peppers up in a foil pouch or bag you are allowing the steam to loosen the skin. In a few minutes you can easily peel away the blackened skin. Do not fear a burnt taste. Roasting your peppers will provide you with a lovely flavor. One more tip –and it is a very important one at that: Never, ever run your roasted peppers under water to remove the blackened skin. By doing so you will be washing away all of the wonderful flavor.

Remove your peppers from your bag and cut into strips.

Place garbanzo beans (or chick peas), garlic, lemon juice, tahini, roasted red pepper strips, cumin and salt in your food processor. Add a little of the reserved liquid at a time until you reach a smooth and silky consistency. Pulse a few times to create what I hope you will find is one of the silkiest, most flavorful hummus you’ll ever enjoy!

Garnish your beautiful roasted red pepper hummus with a few fresh cilantro leaves or parsley. Serve with pita chips and if you have time, prepare our family’s favorite falafel recipe to eat along side. You can also spread some roasted red pepper hummus on a pita, add lettuce, tomato and then falafel and prepare yourself for an amazing wrap!

If you have ever wondered what exactly tahini is let me explain:

Tahini is a paste made from ground hulled sesame seeds. It is typically used in North African and Middle Eastern cooking, It is known for it’s wonderful addition to hummus and other dips.

In a food processor, combine roasted pepper strips, garbanzo beans, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, sat, cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper. Pulse until mixture becomes to break down. Add a tablespoon of reserved liquid at a time until you achieve a smooth consistency. Hummus should not be too thick but not runny either. Serve with pita chips. Try this with our family’s favorite falafel recipe!

Craving more creative recipes for peppers? Join the Summer Fest garden party!

Spread the love by joining the conversation. You can tweet about these recipes, pin them on your favorite food board, and share them with your friends on facebook. Look forward to introducing you to our special guest next week…wonder what we’ll be featuring then…

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