Caramelized Onion Hummus

One of the first recipes I posted to this blog was Dawn’s Famous Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. It is, perhaps, my most requested recipe in real life. As I mentioned, most Friday nights Ed and I have hummus, bread and wine for dinner. We relax and unwind after a tough week and look forward to the promise of another weekend. After many years of doing this, you’d think we’d be sick of it by now, but surprisingly, we are not. In fact, on the rare Friday we skip our hummus and wine, we always feel a little sad, a little off — even if we did something else fun that night, which is usually the case. I don’t know how many more years this ritual will last, but we both love it so much that I can’t imagine stopping it anytime soon.

Hummus is everywhere these days, and there are some interesting combinations available. (And sometimes there is a thin line between interesting and weird.) Tonight I decided to add caramelized onions to my traditional recipe, and I’m so pleased with the result. Rich and sweet, but not overpowering.

I took my tried and true recipe, omitted the red peppers and cayenne, added a few dashes of cumin, then proceeded as usual. Once the hummus was smooth, I added the caramelized onions and pulsed about 30 seconds until just combined.

Since it is a lovely shade of beige, I added just a small sprinkle of parsley. I learned that proper French chefs never leave white or light foods unadorned. One of the coolest gifts I ever got was this Crate & Barrel Herb Scissors. (Thanks, Sue!). For those of us with sub-par knife skills (hello!), this is a lifesaver.

Caramelized Onion Hummus

1 can chick peas, 15.5 oz.

1/2 teaspoon iodized salt (not sea salt, not kosher salt)

1 clove garlic, minced

A few sprinkles of cumin (1/4 teaspoon or less)

Juice of one lemon

Two heaping tablespoons of tahini

Two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 medium yellow onions, sliced and caramelized

Combine the first four ingredients for about one minute in food processor. Scrape sides, then slowly add lemon juice from top chute while food processor is running.

In a small cup or bowl, mix together tahini and olive oil until very well combined, about a minute. With food processor running, add the tahini mixture until incorporated, about 30 seconds.

Add the caramelized onions and process just until incorporated, about 30 seconds or less.

Dawn’s Famous Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Like many people, I have been making hummus for years, and I never put too much thought into the ingredients: chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, salt, garlic, etc. Hummus, like pizza, is hard to screw up. But also like pizza, there is good and then there is gooooood. I first discovered hummus in 1989 while in school outside of London. We had a large Middle Eastern population, so hummus was frequently part of our cafeteria’s offerings. It was love at first taste for me!

Years ago, I started serving this every Friday night with homemade bread. Then I gained 20 pounds and tried to lay off the bread a bit. My husband and I would open a nice bottle of wine, sit in the living room, and exhale after a long week.

I like my hummus with a bit of a kick. I have tweaked this recipe over the years, and not to brag, but I am kind of famous for my hummus. It is not difficult, but the devil is in the details, and that’s what makes this hummus great.

Dawn’s Famous Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

1 can chick peas, 15.5 oz.

1/2 teaspoon iodized salt (not sea salt, not kosher salt)

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ cup roasted red peppers (approximately two big pieces)

A few very generous sprinkles of cayenne pepper or one hot pepper of your choosing

Juice of one lemon

Two heaping tablespoons of tahini

Two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Combine the first four ingredients for about one minute in food processor. Scrape sides, then slowly add lemon juice from top chute while food processor is running.

In a small cup or bowl, mix together tahini and olive oil until very well combined, about a minute. With food processor running, add the tahini mixture until incorporated, about 30 seconds.

Serve with bread, pita chips, or fresh vegetables if you want to be virtuous.