One jalapeño if you like a little tingle on your tongue. Two if you're feeling feisty. Three jalapeños and you'd better make sure there's plenty of cold beer nearby because you're talking about some serious fire.
I never would have thought about adding jalapeños and limes to hummus if a friend hadn't discovered this dip at our local gourmet market and convinced me to try it. The jalapeños hit first, then came the cooling lime just when the heat of the peppers almost seemed too much. The nuttiness of the chickpeas and the creamy texture of the hummus made the perfect backdrop.
This dip was spicy and cool; rich and yet surprisingly light. In short: addictive. I knew before I'd swiped the last scoop from my friend's bowl that I was going to have to re-create the recipe back home.
I didn't have the original packaging to go by, so I pulled together this recipe by feel. I roasted the jalapeños to tame their brightness and bring some charred flavor into the dish. I added lime until I could just taste it over the peppers, and then tossed in some cumin and coriander for extra southwest flavor. After a few seconds in the food processor, all this hummus needed were some pita chips.
I'm a spice fiend and three jalapeños was just about as much as I could handle. Use less if you're making this for a crowd or if you'd rather not deal with a burning tongue. And hey, if you want to use more, go for it!
Makes about 2 cups
1-3 (or more!) jalapeños
2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 15-ounce can chickpeas
3-4 tablespoons lime juice
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons tahini (or substitute extra-virgin olive oil)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoons minced cilantro (optional)
Pita wedges or tortilla chips for serving
Roast the jalapeños under the broiler, on the stove top, or on the grill. Flip every few minutes until the peppers are charred all over. Move them to a heat-proof bowl and cover with plastic wrap for about 10 minutes.
When the peppers are cool enough to handle, slip off the skin, split the peppers, and strip out the seeds. Slice the jalapeños into thin strips and set aside. Take care while working with these peppers because the jalapeño oils can really burn if you rub your eyes or touch your mouth. Wear gloves if desired.
Warm the chickpeas in the microwave for about a minute (this helps make the hummus creamier). Pour them them into the bowl of a food processor along with 3 tablespoons of lime juice, garlic, tahini, and spices. Begin processing and stream in the olive oil through the top of the machine. Scrape down and process again until the hummus is very smooth.
Transfer to a serving bowl and stir in the sliced jalapeños. Taste and add more jalapeños, more lime juice, or more seasonings to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before serving. (This hummus can also be made several days ahead.)
Garnish with minced cilantro and serve with pita wedges or tortilla chips.
(Images: Emma Christensen)