This Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Pita Bite appetizer is everything! There is a textural depth to these appetizers not to mention an incredible flavor!
The hummus is heavenly and creamy, which is the perfect contrast to the crunchy pita chips. The feta adds a touch of saltiness while the lentils add the perfect bits of crunch! Top it off with some pomegranate seeds and you have yourself an awesome appetizer for your next get-together!
This appetizer stirred up memories about how Robby and I first got together. I don’t think I have told this story yet! I came back to L.A. In October 2007 from Oregon and Robby came back in 2008 from Massachusetts. We hadn’t seen each other since we were teenagers and we both showed up to our mutual good friend Christine’s house for dinner. In the next few weeks Robby and I had gone on a few bike rides and the last time he came up to my tiny studio apartment for some water. We started looking through old photos and he says he felt something, a spark all of a sudden, which he told me years later. I felt it too but I ignored it thinking we were just old friends. I called him a few times but never heard back. It turned out that his mom had passed away and he needed to be alone.
A year went by and unfortunately our good friend George’s mom had just passed. Robby and our friend Antonia drove down from Santa Cruz. They had a conversation about relationships and Robby told her he was fine being by himself. We all showed up to Saint Sophia’s Greek Orthodox church at the same time. After the ceremony, everyone went across the street to a Greek restaurant Called “Papa Cristo’s Greek Grill and Catering” We started off with Greek appetizers including hummus. Everything was phenomenal! After everyone headed to the cemetery but me, I had to do some work and I met up with them later at the Moose Lodge. I had a couple glasses of wine when our friend Christine said ” Steph, why don’t you and Robby get together? And I said, “because I didn’t consider it was an option since he never returned my phone calls.”
After a few cocktails, we all went to George’s house. Antonia was going to be flying back to San Jose but everyone was guilt tripping her so she left to see if she could stay another night. When she returned I was sitting on Robby’s lap. It was pretty funny, Antonia was all “wait? what? I left for thirty minutes, what happened? Well, as you can see the rest is history!
These cuties pair well with a light Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo, Albariño
or a White Rioja.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Bites Recipe:
- 1/2 Cup or as needed Roasted Red Pepper Hummus – recipe below
- 1/4 Cup Crispy Black Lentils – recipe below
- 48 Pita Chips – recipe below
- 1/4 Cup Feta Cheese – crumbled
- 1/4 Cup Pomegranate seeds – or to taste
- 1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar – reduced – optional
- 1/2 Cup Dried Garbanzo Beans – 3/4 Cups Cooked
- 1 Small Red Bell Pepper – roasted – deseeded – destemmed
- 1/4 Cup Roasted Tahini
- 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
- 1 Tablespoons Chili Olive Oil – homemade or store-bought – can sub regular olive oil
- 1 Cloves Garlic
- 1/2 Teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/4 Teaspoon Hot Paprika (can sub for regular paprika)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 8 Pita – cut into 6 wedges each
- Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoon Fresh Oregano – minced – optional
- 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
- 1/2 Cup High-Quality Balsamic Vinegar
Prepare garbanzo beans for the hummus
Place them in a large bowl with 1 tablespoons of baking soda and cover with filtered water. They will expand to over double their size, make sure you cover by several inches of water to allow for expansion. Soak overnight for at least 12 hours then drain.
Place the beans in a pot and cover with at least 2 inches of water above the beans and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let the beans soak in the warm water for 1 hour then drain the water and rinse.
Cooking the beans
Just add chickpeas and 1 teaspoons of baking soda to a large saucepan over high heat. Stirring constantly for about 2 – 3 minutes. Covers the chickpeas by about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil and reduce to simmer on medium heat for about 30 minutes to 1 hours or until soft, depending on the type and freshness, sometimes even longer. Skim off the foam and skins that float to the surface. They should be very fairly tender pressing between your fingers but not too mushy.
Put the beans back in the pot and cover with several inches of filtered water.
Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer on medium heat for about an hour to an hour and a half, or until tender. They should be very fairly tender pressing between your fingers but not too mushy.
When the garbanzo beans are cooked and cooled, measure everything and put in a food processor or blender and puree until the desired texture.
Roast peppers on the stovetop on medium-high heat. A gas stove works the best but it will work fine on an electric stove. Char the peppers on all sides turning with a pair of tongs. When good and charred, steam them for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut to hold in the steam.
Take a paper towel and rub off the char. It’s ok to leave a little of the char. Slice in half and remove the seeds and stems then dice them.
Crispy Black Lentils
Preheat oven to 400°F
Pour balsamic vinegar into a small pan and turn heat to medium-high then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes. Stir occasionally until it coats the back of your spoon. Keep an eye on it because it can happen fast and burn.
Baked Pita Chips
Cut each pita into 8 triangles and place on one side of a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and gently toss. Sprinkle on the oregano and bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until crispy.
Garbanzo beans are super high in protein and extremely high in fiber, just one cup provides 50% of the Daily Value. Because of the fiber, they are great for your heart, lowering blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart attack as well as help prevent constipation and digestive disorders. Just one cup provides 84.5% of the daily value of manganese, which is an antioxidant that acts as a monitor of the free radicals in the body. If you are low in energy the high iron content will help and will transport oxygen from the lungs to all the cells in the body. They also help to balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy. Garbanzo beans are helpful for weight loss as they keep you full longer.
Red Bell Peppers are matured green bell peppers and have more nutrition as they mature. They are super high in vitamin A which helps to support healthy eyesight, especially night vision and are extremely high in vitamin C, so much so they have twice as much as an orange which makes it really good for the skin. Red peppers are one of the highest veggies in lycopene and have been successfully tested in the prevention of many cancers. They have a good source of the antioxidant mineral manganese and B-complex and vitamin E. They help reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol, helps controls diabetes and helps reduce pain. They are also a good source of fiber, folate, vitamin K, molybdenum and manganese.