Fall is here! Both my husband and I’s favorite time of year. But for very different reasons.
I love the cool, crisp weather, fall classic flavors such as pumpkin, warm spices, and apple, and Fall fashion that includes sweaters, boots, and floppy hats.
My husband loves that Fall is the ultimate sports season. Football, baseball, and hockey all intersect. The Bears and Hawks start their seasons, while the Cubs begin the postseason. There is literally a sports game on at all times from September until November. ALL TIMES! My husband is a dedicated Chicago sports fan and refuses to miss a game (insert heavy sigh….)
Disclaimer: I am a sports fan too….well kind of. I mean I enjoy tailgating and actually going to games. I wear the team colors and cheer when I see a good play. Just don’t ask me any stat questions about the teams. I also have no desire to watch every…single…game at home. And there are A LOT of games. I’ve learned there are 162 games in the regular baseball season, which spans 6 months from April to September. By the time football and hockey season starts in the Fall, I am spent and slightly annoyed that some game is always playing on our TV.
Well, like they say, if you can’t beat em’, join em’! Since my husband insists on watching every game and it will inevitably be on in our living room, I make game time into party time where we can invite over friends, make fun cocktails, and indulge on delicious game day food.
The Cubs played on Friday night, so I knew what we would be doing. Plus, this was no ordinary game: this was the first Cubs’ postseason game against the Washington Nationals. This was the perfect opportunity to turn this into a fun night with friends. I also had an excuse to whip up a new recipe I had drafted: Roasted Red Pepper and Sun-dried Tomato Hummus.
This hummus is a perfect game day snack: 1). super easy to make; 2). can be made ahead of time; 3). packed full of flavor; 4). and a crowd pleaser. Plus, it is healthy, so no need to feel guilty about going back for seconds!
The main ingredient for the hummus is chickpeas (or garbanzo beans). Chickpeas have a mild nutty taste and buttery, starchy texture, so are the perfect backbone for this dip. Chickpeas also come with a range of health benefits, as they are high in fiber and protein. You can find chickpeas in the can at your local grocery store (I always keep a few cans of chickpeas on hand so I can whip up a batch of hummus at the last minute). To start the dip, drain a can of chickpeas (save the liquid) and add to a food processor.
Traditional hummus calls for tahini (ground sesame seeds), cumin, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. I took my hummus one step further my adding sun-dried tomatoes and roasted red peppers. The combination of sun-dried tomatoes and roasted red pepper add smoky sweetness to the hummus that makes this dip irresistible.
The key to a great hummus is achieving the right consistency. Here’s how to get it right: add all the hummus ingredients and blend in your food processor until well-incorporated. Then, slowly add in the preserve chickpea juices until you reach the desired consistency. I like my hummus on the thick side, so I only added about a 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid. If you like it thinner, you can add in more liquid. I believe using the chickpea liquid is an important step. The reserved liquid reinforces the chickpea flavor, so adding it allows you to reach the right consistency without watering the hummus down.
Voila! That is it! The hummus is done and ready to be plated. You can serve the hummus immediately or store in the fridge until ready to be served. That is one of the best parts of the dip – it only takes ten minutes to make and you can store it up to a week in your fridge so you can make it ahead of time for a party or event. That is exactly what I did – I made my hummus earlier in the day so I had time to prepare for our friends arriving (instead of spending hours in the kitchen).
Right before our friends were scheduled to arrive, I poured the dip in a bowl and served it with some veggies and toasted whole wheat pita.
Since I was serving this to guests, I made it look pretty by adding chopped sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, green onions, and olive oil. I also find topping it with the sun-dried tomatoes and roasted red pepper informs your guests about what type of hummus it is.
The hummus was a hit! Creamy, flavorful, rich, and delicious. ! A total crowd pleaser.
Roasted Red Pepper and Sun-dried Tomato Hummus
Roasted Red Pepper and Sun-died Tomato Hummus
- 1 can chickpeas, drained (reserving liquid)
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes (in olive oil)
- 1 roasted red pepper, diced
- ½ cup tahini
- Juice of half of a lemon
- ½ tsp cumin
- 2 cloves garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 T. olive oil (I used the extra from sun dried tomatoes)
- Add all the ingredients except reserved chickpea juice into a food processor and blend on high setting until well combined.
- Add in the reserved chickpea liquid ¼ cup at a time until reach desired consistency.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Serve with toasted pita and veggies.