The other day I reminded him that we’re out of tahini and should stop at the Mediterranean market soon. Immediately he said, “Let’s make hummus!”

“Did you not just hear me say we have no tahini?”

“I heard you. Make Hummus en Fuego.”

Hummus en Fuego. A recipe from a blog I introduced him to, and now he’s the one bringing it to my attention. I love it! He made this once back when he was living in Florida. It was right around the time I started my blog, inundating him from across the country with photos, asking him which versions of the same shot were better. He came back at me with his picks, as well as photos of his masterfully crafted Hummus en Fuego

Heidi’s book Super Natural Cooking is tried and true in my kitchen. I’ve made countless recipes, always satisfied. When he introduced me to Hummus en Fuego, it was one I hadn’t seen before.

A twist on the ubiquitous hummus — garbanzo beans and toasted walnuts are pureed with garlic, lemon juice and homemade chile oil. The creamy puree is then drizzled with more chile oil, whole garbanzos, chopped olives and cilantro.

Heidi uses regular crushed red pepper flakes. I jazzed mine up with crushed chipotle pepper flakes; a gift from my uncle that has become a favorite. As for her oil-cured olives, I plucked a couple of green olives from a pickled olive salad I made a while back for muffuletta sandwiches. Easy as that.

Hummus without tahini? I sure do like it!

Chipotle Hummus en Fuego [makes about 2 1/2 c]

Printable recipe

1/2 c extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 t crushed chipotle [or plain red] pepper flakes

3/4 c walnuts, toasted and skins rubbed off

2 c cooked [or canned] garbanzo beans, drained, about 1 T reserved

1 medium to large clove garlic, depending on your taste

juice of 1/2 lemon [about 2 T]

1/2 c hot water

1/4 c green or oil-cured black olives, chopped

a bit of chopped cilantro [optional]

Plan to make the pepper oil a day or two ahead of time to allow the flavors to mingle and fully develop. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan for a couple minutes. When the oil is hot, turn off the heat and stir in the crushed pepper flakes. Set aside and let cool in a covered dish or plastic container for one to two days.

To make the hummus, give the walnuts a spin in the food processor, just until a sandy texture is achieved — be careful not to whir them too long, allowing a paste to form. Add most of the garbanzos, 1 or 2 T of the chile oil [oil only, no flakes], garlic and lemon juice; process until smooth. Drizzle in the hot water a bit at a time as you puree, until the hummus is creamy. Let the food processor run for a minute or so at this point to incorporate air and create a billowy texture. Taste, adjust the seasoning – more salt, more lemon juice, etc.

Serve in a shallow bowl, drizzled with plenty of the remaining oil and pepper flakes. Add the reserved garbanzo beans, as well as the olives and a bit of chopped cilantro for the final touch.

Adapted from Heidi Swanson

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