This hummus is an ideal appetizer when you have unexpected guests, says its creator, Dana Jacobi, author of the 12 Best Foods Cookbook and a contributor to the American Institute for Cancer Research’s New American Plate Cookbook: Recipes for a Healthy Weight and a Healthy Life (from which this recipe is adapted). 

“Its ingredients are easily kept on hand, and it works as a dip with raw veggies or toasted pita wedges or spread on lavash bread to make pinwheel hors d’oeuvres,” she says. “In a pinch, it tastes good if I include great northern beans or just use chickpeas or even black beans. Accompanied by olives, hard-cooked egg quarters and canned grape leaves, this hummus becomes part of meze, the delicious Mediterranean ‘small dishes’ served for more substantial hors d’oeuvres or a light meal.”

All of the ingredients should be available at your local natural and organic food store.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Makes 24 servings (2 tablespoons each)

1 jar (7 oz.) roasted red peppers, drained
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz.) cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine all of the ingredients except the salt and pepper. Process the mixture until smooth.
  2. Allow the mixture to stand for 30 minutes or more to allow flavors to develop fully. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Serve chilled or at room temperature with wedges of warmed whole-wheat pita or whole-grain crackers.

Per serving: 61 calories, 2 g total fat (less than 1 g saturated fat), 9 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 108 mg sodium

Recipe and photo courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research