Birch & Barley Restaurant in Pullman, Washington, serves one of the best roasted red pepper hummus dips we’ve ever tried.
One difference is they use a tiny garbanzo called Billy Beans that’s grown locally (also called Pedrosillano Cafe Garbanzo Beans). They’re a little sweeter than regular garbanzos and, paired with a bit of red pepper pesto, it gives the hummus an earthy sweetness that can’t be beat. It’s become a staple around realfoodtraveler.com offices when we have company.
You can purchase Billy Beans garbanzos at the food coop in Pullman or at natural food stores like Whole Foods and Market of Choice. You can also purchase them online ($3.99 for lb.) at chefshop.com/Pedrosillano-Cafe-Garbanzo-Beans-Dried-P7833.aspx. BTW, chefshop.com is a wonderful resource for foodies that sells everything from chutney to rendered duck fat.
Editor’s note: This recipe calls for red pepper pesto, which is available at higher-end grocery stores. It tends to be a bit pricy. You can also make your own red pepper pesto by simply roasting and peeling red bell peppers then whirring them up in the food processor with a little olive oil, salt, pine nuts or whatever else you like.
Recipe courtesy Birch & Barley and Chef Michael Jones.
2 1/4 cups of small “Billy Beans” garbanzos
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
4 tbsp of lemon juice
6 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp of tahini
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp of cumin
1/2 tsp of coriander
7 tbsp of red pepper pesto (we use Armanino brand)
Soak garbanzos overnight to soften. Cover the garbanzos with water and bring to a boil (for each cup of garbanzos, 2 1/2 cups water). Turn down the heat and cook the garbanzos until soft (approximately 1.5-2 hours). Drain well.
Using a food processor, place garbanzos, minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, tahini, seasonings, and half the red pepper pesto into the processor bowl and whir until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Spoon into a bowl and add the remaining red pepper pesto on top. Serve with crackers, bread, or veggies for dipping.