When it comes to healthy snack, choosing hummus as a "dip" is probably the most healthy option to go. When you make hummus that is part chickpea and part Tahini (Sesame Sauce) you end up with a snack that is a complete protein. Add to it the health benefits of red bell peppers and garlic, well that even ups the ante. Making hummus at home is very simple and more economical. I made it for the first time after watching an episode of Good Eats, in which Alton Brown made a batch. He shared a way to give your hummus an amazing texture - cook the chickpeas in a slow cooker. This gives them a creamy texture. Then it's a manner of putting all your ingredients together in a food processor. And your ready to eat.
For the basic hummus recipe, check out my review of Alton Brown's Hummus for Real. The only thing I changed about it was replacing the chopped garlic with roasted garlic.
To roast a bell pepper
You can choose any color bell pepper you want. But green is rather boring and not as sweet as red or orange. I used red (as the post title "Homemade Roasted Red Pepper Hummus" probably tipped you off to that!). Roasting a bell pepper will give it a caramelized, smoky, sweet flavor. To do it, set your oven to 500 degrees. Your goal is to blackened the outer skin of the pepper and then remove it and what you have underneath will be perfection. Slice your pepper in half, removing all the seeds inside. Then rub the pepper with canola or vegetable oil. No reason to use any expensive olive oils here. Then sprinkle some kosher salt on both sides. Place the pepper skin side up on a half sheet pan. Roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the skin has quite a few black spots.
To make the skin easy to remove, immediately place the peppers inside a bowl covered with a lid or plastic wrap. You want to trap the stem. Then when the peppers have cooled, remove the skin with your hands or a knife, it should come off in big strips.
To roast the garlic
Set your oven to 350 degrees. Slice off the very top part of the garlic, just enough to expose the cloves. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil and wrap the garlic in foil. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until the garlic is soft. Remove all the cloves and smash into a paste.
To assemble the final product
Add the roasted garlic and pepper right before you add the tahini. Mix in your food processor until thoroughly combined. Then add the tahini and combine. And then your olive oil drizzle.
If you are looking for something to dip your hummus in, try this pita recipe that I love from Tyler Florence.