Here’s a Louisiana-style rendition of a favorite Middle Eastern dip, “Hummus.” It tastes just as good as any purchased hummus and this recipe has a nice kick. The “surprise” ingredient in the recipe is white beans. Red bell peppers and yogurt may also surprise. Put them together — along with tahini, garlic and lemon juice — and you have a festive dip.
This healthy recipe is just right for the late summer when red bell peppers are plentiful. The dip is easy to make, colorful and all the flavors meld together well. Hummus-type dips are based on chickpeas and tahini. Why not substitute white beans which are common in Southern cooking and recipes? White beans (aka canned northern beans) are a mild-flavored bean and they don’t overpower the other ingredients. Hum, I might actually prefer these beans to chickpeas. Using canned beans rather than dried beans really simples making the dip. No cooking is required, other than roasting the red pepper.
Here are the ingredients for the recipe (plus either yogurt or sour cream where are included in the recipe instructions, not shown here). This dip has garlic which adds flavor — don’t leave this out — and lemon juice. Tahini paste — based on sesame seeds — is also an ingredient in the dip. (We found this brand at the Target store on the peanut butter isle!) No need to go to a specialty international store.
Our produce market still has huge, red peppers for sale. I was excited about this grocery find and am adding one of these peppers to the dip for a little “zing,” The basic difference between green, yellows and red sweet, bell peppers is that the red peppers have ripened further. However, it also means that the red ones spoil quicker. So, don’t purchase this recipe ingredient until you are ready to mix up the dip.
Making the Recipe
The first step in making the recipe is to roast the red pepper. Roasting the pepper causes it to mellow a bit and gives a smoother texture to the appetizer. The dip still has lots of flavor and punch. Place the red pepper on a broiling pan about 6″ away from the broiler coils. Broil about 10 minutes on the first side, until charred. Turn and continue to broil on the remaining sides until charred and blistered all over — it doesn’t take as long on the remaining sides. Remove from oven, dip in ice water and peel. Remove seeds and cut into chunks.
The next step is to blend up all the ingredients using a food processor. Rinse and drain the can of northern beans. Then add everything (beans, red pepper chunks, tahini, garlic, lemon juice to a medium-sized food processor bowl.
I also added a little sour cream to one batch and yogurt to another batch — your choice. Process until smooth.
The last step is to chill the dip so the flavors blend together. This dip can be made a day ahead of time. Transfer to an interesting serving bowl and enjoy with fresh vegetables, pita bread or crackers. Cucumber slices tasted great with this dip.
Enjoy this colorful Louisiana variation of the traditional Mediterranean dish, hummus, this late summer. especially when red bell peppers are plentiful. We did!
Louisiana-Style Hummus with Roasted Red Pepper
- 1 large sweet, red bell pepper
- 1 (15 oz) can navy beans, drained and rinced
- 1/3 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbsp tahini
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 2 green part of green onion, sliced
- olive oil
- Crackers, pita wedges and/or vegetable sticks
Method and Steps:
- Roast sweet, red bell pepper: Place pepper on broiling pan, 6″ from heat. Broil, turning when first side becomes charred to another side, after about 10 minutes. Then turn more frequently, about every 3 to 4 minutes until all sides are charred.
- Remove pepper from oven and immerse in ice water. When cool enough to handle, remove from water. Peel and remove seeds, Cut into chunks.
- Drain and rinse can of navy beans. Place beans in medium-sized food processor bowl along with red pepper chunks and remainder of ingredients — sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt), tahini, minced garlic, lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Process until smooth.
- Transfer to non-metalic bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
- When ready to serve, transfer to decorative serving bowl, top with several green onion pieces, and drizzle on a little olive oil. Serve with crackers, pita wedges and/or vegetable sticks.