Friday, October 19, 2007

Roasted Romano Pepper Houmous


In 1912 in America, Mr.Wilbur Scoville devised the Scoville Hotness Scale. His human tasting panel measured the heat levels of different chilli peppers. Over the decades this has been refined in laboratories so that shoppers like me can stare at chilli pepper labels to see if they will merely scorch the tongue or incinerate it. I chose the mildest scoring red chilli pepper to team up with the completely innocuous red Romano peppers. These are long, narrow and bright red. Many of you have left comments about the bitter taste of bell pepper skin. So under a hot grill I blackened their skins. This was a tedious process. Every time I opened the oven door to check their progress the smoke set off the fire alarm. I had to run out of the kitchen with a mop handle to poke the reset button on the alarm. But there is something very satisfying about rubbing off the blackened skins under running water to reveal their sweet, succulent bright red flesh. I made Romano pepper houmous, using just half a red chilli pepper to add a hint of heat. This is optional but Freddie and Alex didn’t find it too hot. Mr Scoville’s Organoleptic Test hadn’t let us down. Back on the Naming and Shaming Fridge Freddie couldn’t quite bring himself to move peppers into the “I like” category. But he did score the houmous 9 out of 10. Prejudice is alive and well in the world of vegetables.
Romano Roasted Red Pepper Houmous
400g can of chickpeas, washed and drained
2-3 tbsp light tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
Half a mild red chilli pepper (this is optional)
1 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of smoked paprika
180g red Romano peppers

Slice the Romano pepper in half, lengthways. Take out the seeds. Place the two halves, skins facing up on a flat baking tray under a medium hot grill. Allow the skins to blacken. You may need to move them around to make sure the process is even.
Take out and run under cold water. Wait until you can handle them and carefully rub off the blackened skins and rinse. Dry them well or the houmous will be sloppy in consistency. Take half a little red chilli pepper, deseed it and slice it. In a food processor, blend the chickpeas, tahini, lemon and lime juice, olive oil, peppers, red chilli pepper and a pinch of smoked paprika. When it is smooth, serve with flat breads or mini pitta.
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  1. Thanks for an interesting variation to one of my favourite foods! Always proud to add our own homegrown garlic - now I can add another!

  2. I think that would be a perfect snack to accompany watching the Rugby World Cup Final on the telly. We're relying on you Jonny! - no pressure :)


  3. Yay, Freddie has gotten past peas!!! I love hummus (hummous) every day of the week. The pepper version sounds splendid!

  4. Great Big Vegetable Challenge3:20 PM

    Top Veg - you are lucky to be able to grow all these vegetables. What fun to cook straight from the garden. We cook straight from the market which isnt quite as exciting!
    Celia - Freddie has just bought an england rugby ball to practice with this afternoon before The Big Match. He will be inconsolable in England loses...
    Valli - Thanks. Do try it out and let me know what you think.

  5. This is definitely another hummus recipe for me to try. Thanks, Charlotte.

  6. Gorgeous recipe - I love the lime in addition to the lemon. This is one I've got to try, Charlotte!

  7. Anonymous9:57 PM

    Freddie's verdict?

    Kim fröm Sweden

  8. Cynthia - please try it out. The lime makes it taste very good.

    Amanda - Thanks. Yes the lime makes all the difference

    Kim from Sweden - Freddie loved it - gave it 9 out of 10!He likes houmous so this was a way good way in.

  9. Mmmm, this sounds absolutely wonderful, and if I wasn't completely lazy, I would make it :)

  10. schmoof11:15 AM

    A much easier way of getting the skin off peppers is to whack them in a hot oven or under the grill (turning if under the grill) for 15 mins or so, then put them in a bowl with come cling film over it. Leave for 10 mins, then the skins just slide off. No need to blacken them.


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