We had a lot of fun in the Hope Café kitchen creating this irresistible roasted red pepper hummus that’s so good you’ll want to skip the pita and go right for the spoon! Two batches were made, one with fresh garlic and one with roasted fresh garlic. Both were fantastic but there was a distinct difference between the two. Using fresh garlic gives a little more bite to the dip and slightly more pungent flavour. Using roasted garlic gives a more even and creamy taste and is slightly more mellow in flavour. Roasting the garlic is easy and definitely worth a try. You can also use both fresh and roasted to get the best of both worlds.

Serve with pita bread, pita chips, crackers or vegetables. This dip is healthy and quick and easy to make. Keep on hand as an appetizer, easy snack or side dish. Your guests will love it, too.

1 – 19 ounce can chick peas (540 ml) drained and rinsed with cold water
½ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
½ cup lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1 head roasted garlic (*roasting instructions below) or 3 cloves fresh garlic
½ cup jarred roasted red peppers  (**instructions below if you prefer to roast your own. If you do add two tablespoons of olive oil to the recipe as the jarred peppers already come in oil)
olive oil for drizzling on top
paprika for sprinkling on top

1.  Place all ingredients except peppers in a food processor and mix very well, stopping to scrape sides as needed with a spatula.
2.  Add peppers and mix thoroughly until creamy smooth (do not undermix).
3.  Spread into serving dish, finish off with a drizzle of olive oil and dash of paprika and dig right in.

To roast garlic:
Remove outside casings from garlic bulb, leaving cloves intact.
Chop off the very top of the bulb so cloves are slightly exposed.
Place on a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with a little olive oil, about 1/4 tsp.
Wrap the bulb and bake in 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 30 minutes (toaster ovens are perfect for this if you have one).

To roast peppers:
There are a few options for roasting peppers, this is one of the easiest…
Slice peppers into quarters, removing stem, seeds and membranes
Place on a baking sheet and bake in preheated 450 degree oven until skin is soft and charred, turning as needed for even baking (approximately 30 minutes).
Remove from oven, peel off skins and place in a sealed container, allowing the steam to soften peppers for about 30 minutes.

*meat free
*gluten free
*dairy free

Recipe by Donna Sales from the Hope Café Kitchen.