Friday, February 28, 2014

Roasted tomato hummus

I've only recently jumped on the homemade hummus train, but oh man, am I ever glad I did. Aside from the fact that it's sooo much cheaper to make my own than to buy it at the grocery, I'm also having a ton of fun experimenting with different flavor combinations. Most recently, I made a tomato-basil hummus - but instead of just using freshly-chopped tomatoes, I first slow-roasted the tomatoes and then marinated them in olive oil and herbs for almost three weeks. Talk about flavor!

To marinate your tomatoes
Slice cherry tomatoes in half and spread them out on a baking sheet (use a sheet of parchment paper for easy clean-up later). I used about half a pint of tomatoes, simply because I needed to use up my tomatoes before going out of town. You can marinate as many as you'd like (they'll keep for weeks), but you'll use about half a pint for the hummus. Sprinkle salt over the tomatoes, and bake at 250 degrees for two hours, making sure to rotate the pan after an hour. The tomatoes should be slightly shriveled and wrinkly; cool completely, then transfer them to a Mason jar. Gently toss the tomatoes with herbs and spices of your choice - I used a healthy amount of dried Italian seasoning, but any combination of your favorite savory flavors (fresh or dried) will work. Cover the tomatoes completely with extra virgin olive oil, give the whole thing a little stir, and then cover and store in a cool, dry place for at least three days. The longer you marinate the tomatoes, the stronger the flavor will be.

Hummus - Ingredients
1 can (15 oz.) of garbanzo beans, drained - but reserve the liquid form the can
2 tbsp. tahini sauce
1 clove of garlic, diced
1/2 pint of dried and marinated cherry tomatoes
~ 1/4 cup garbanzo bean liquid (less if you like a thicker hummus, more if you like it thin)
Spices to taste - I used about one teaspoon each of salt, Italian seasonings, and Trader Joe's Everyday Seasonings

Hummus - How to
First of all, you're going to want to shuck the garbanzo beans. Seriously, you'll thank me for this! Removing the beans' casings is going to create the creamiest hummus you'll have ever tasted. I find that pinching the pointed end of each bean between your thumb and forefinger helps to shoot the bean out of it's skin; you can discard the casings once you've shucked all the beans. Next, place all your ingredients in a blender, and puree on low until everything is mixed together. I tend to be a bit conservative with the tomatoes and spices at first, and add to taste as I go along (it's easy to add an ingredient, but hard to take it out). Serve with carrots, pita chips, or (my personal favorite), pretzels!

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