My friend Louane hosted a progressive dinner with friends in our Boston neighborhood some years ago, and when it came time to selecting a course to serve at our house, I chose dessert. Now, you know I am a bake-o-phobe, but I was even more fearful of making the appetizers than I was of tackling some sort of baked sweet for the end of the meal. Appetizers set the tone for everything to follow, and I must admit that my appetizers tend to be more dips than dainties. This roasted red pepper and garlic hummus is one dip that works well as a spread on toasted slices of bread. It's easy to put together, and looks a little bit fancy when served on a nice flowered plate. A few crostini with a green salad would make a nice vegetarian lunch, too.
Roasted red pepper and garlic hummus crostini
Makes 4 cups.
1 baguette or other long loaf of crusty bread
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
2/3 cup tahini
2/3 cup water
4 cups canned chickpeas, drained (reserve 1/4 cup liquid)
1 whole roasted red pepper (I used fire-roasted, from a jar), finely diced, divided
1 Tbsp ground cumin
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
English or mini-seedless cucumber, thinly sliced on the diagonal
Slice the bread 1/4-inch thick, on the diagonal, and place slices on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast under the broiler or on a grill until very lightly browned on both sides. If desired, brush the tops with olive oil. (I usually don't do this, to keep the calorie count down, but it does taste great if you do.) Set aside.
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process the garlic, lime juice and tahini until it turns into a smooth paste. Add the water, chickpeas, and half of the red pepper, and continue to process until mixture is almost fluffy. Add some of the reserved chickpea liquid, if necessary to achieve a light, spreadable consistency. Season with the cumin. Transfer to a bowl.
Stir the rest of the diced red pepper into the hummus. (At this point, you can refrigerate the hummus, covered, for several days.)
Spread hummus on each of the toasted bread slices, and top each with a slice of cucumber, if desired.
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Chickpea potato curry, from Simply Recipes
Chickpea soup with ginger and coriander, from Pincy My Salt
Parsley hummus with whole wheat pita chips, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Cabbagetown hummus, from David Lebovitz
Hummus en fuego, from 101 Cookbooks
Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.