by / Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ready, Steady, Cook Challenge: Starter Roasted Apricot & Sweet Pepper Hummus w/ cold Green Bean dippers

You know I love a challenge, right?  Well, when Lady Raven of Add to Taste announced that she was starting up a Ready, Steady, Cook! challenge...I signed up without a second thought.  Always gettin' myself in deep, huh?  Basically, each participant is assigned a list of 7 ingredients different for each participant which they then use in conjuction w/ pantry/free items to create a three course menu.  Following is a list of the Pantry & Free items...and the list of my personal 7 ingredients that I was assigned by Jessica of Tiny Oven Adventures.
I'm gonna be honest with you here...I had a really hard time fitting green beans in with my other items... Oh, I managed to do it, I'm just not sure how well I did it.  Each course is to be posted separately, so for each, I'll highlight the course I'm sharing that day.  I'm gonna go ahead and share in order...cuz I'm totally OCD like that.
Roasted Apricot & Sweet Pepper Hummus
w/ cold Green Bean dippers
from the kitchen of girlichef
yield: ~ 1½  c. hummus

~1 c. cooked Chickpeas
2 Apricots, halved & pitted
3 small Sweet Peppers
3 cloves garlic, peeled
~2 Tbs. Olive Oil
juice of 1 Lemon
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
pinch of Cumin

fresh, uncooked green beans
sea salt

Begin by "roasting" the apricot halves, sweet peppers, and garlic on a hot comal or cast iron skillet...or under a hot broiler...until charred.

In the meantime, bring a big pot of salted water to a boil.  Snap the ends of the green beans off and drop into boiling water.  Let cook just a few minutes, until al dente.  You want to be able to pick them up without having them droop.  Quickly pull out of boiling water with a slotted skimmer or strainer and transfer to an ice bath.  This will stop the cooking.  Set aside on a clean towel to dry.

Remove the roasted peppers to a bowl and cover with film.  Let steam until cool enough to handle, then slide of the skin and remove stem and seeds.

Place the chickpeas, roasted apricots, roasted garlic, and the roasted sweet peppers in the bowl of a food processor.  Add the olive oil, juice of a lemon, a good pinch or so of salt, a good grating of black pepper, and a big pinch of cumin.  Process until very smooth.  If the mixture seems a bit thick, add a tablespoon or so of water at a time until it is a good consistency for dipping.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Serve the hummus cold or at room temperature with the cold green beans on the side for dipping...sprinkled liberally w/ sea salt.
I love "regular" hummus...but I sincerely enjoyed the flair that the roasted apricots and sweet peppers added...an earthy, natural sweetness that the heat and char-factor brought forward...add in my best friend garlic and you have a starter course that will get your tummy rumbling in anticipation of the next course!

....watch for my Main Course and Dessert to come soon!

My other menu portions:

*To see a list of completed challenges, check THIS PAGE...Lady Raven will be updating as courses/challengers post!

Heather is a Michiana-based food, drink, and travel writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, dark beer, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.


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