UPDATE to below: The recipe from the second attempt is now included at the bottom!
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Where, oh where did September go? Will I ever not be shocked when another month has gone by between Secret Recipe Club posts? These are questions to which I’m afraid I’ll never understand the answers.
Either way, I’m glad I managed to still make something with how crazy the past month has been. I’m also glad to be able to say that this recipe, and perhaps more importantly, the technique and knowledge I’ve gained this month will definitely benefit my life. I can now make hummus at home and actually like it. Better than that, I can actually love it! My daily meals will no longer consist of Diet Dew and the occasional PB&J in between random bites of whatever other recipe I’m developing in the kitchen. Yes. My eating habits really are that bad.
My assigned blog this month was none other than Katherine Martinelli’s blog where there is definitely no shortage of inspiration to choose from. I bookmarked so many recipes to try, but due to a friend’s wedding celebration we went to mid month I couldn’t get Katherine’s recipe for hummus – good hummus – out of my head.
Our friends’ had a caterer for their wedding luncheon that made a really good red pepper hummus, who of course won’t share the recipe. After the caterer’s typical response, which is ok, I really do get it, of “No. But we sell containers of it.” I of course saw that as a challenge since I’m hardly likely to drive 40 minutes from home to buy hummus. You know that the response was just enough to convince me that I could make it, and make it better at home. I must admit, that is my usual response to most anything we eat out. There are a few exceptions, but it usually has to do more with hard to find ingredients or really difficult preparation that I just don’t have the time for.
Now, to be completely honest, this recipe isn’t quite as knock your socks off yet as I would like, though it is still some of the very best hummus I’ve ever eaten. Katherine’s original version made a whole lotta hummus and her recipe is for a classic hummus. My changes were to try and make the red pepper version since I’m not as much of a fan of the classic kind. Anyway, the recipe made way more than I was expecting and the one sad red pepper I bought just wasn’t up to the task of flavoring and coloring the whole batch as I wanted which is why this is such a pale red. I will be making it again for a 2.0 version and should be able to nail it this time since I know where I fell just a bit short and will post the recipe then and was so very, very good with some pita chips. Already though this version was better than the caterer’s in my opinion (though it had a wonderful flavor at the wedding reception, it was rather runny for my tastes – this version is creamy and thick and still had a great flavor with a hint of the red pepper).
In the meantime, if you are a hummus fan, but have never been able to make a really good version at home, I suggest you try Katherine’s method and recipe and leave her a little note of thanks for the time and effort and knowledge she shared about how to make it. I know I will! I’ll tell you in advance, it involved using dry chickpeas and going through the soaking and cooking process. That said, it is so much inactive prep time on your part that there really isn’t any good reason not to do it yourself. I’ve made hummus from canned chickpeas before and it wasn’t nearly as good as Katherine’s recipe. Just take the plunge and don’t worry about inactive prep. It doesn’t do anything for you to plan ahead a day and soak some beans then let them cook. The wait will be worth it!