Vatican City: Pimento Pepper Hummus with Blue and Sweet Potato Chips


What the…?!  Yeah, that’s what I said when I saw those uniforms.

The colours which make the uniform so attractive are the traditional Medici blue, red and yellow, set off nicely by the white of the collar and gloves. The blue and yellow bands give a sense of lightness as they move over the red doublet and breeches… With the passing centuries there have been a few minor changes, but on the whole the original dress has been maintained. It is commonly thought that the uniform was designed by Michelangelo, but it would seem rather that he had nothing to do with it. However, Raffaello certainly did influence its development, as he indeed influenced fashion in general in Italy in the Renaissance, through his painting.

…ok well whatever floats your boat I guess! Being the world’s smallest independent state at a mere 0.17 square miles (and with only 3 “restaurants” according to Trip Advisor), you can bet we didn’t actually eat anything there. But no fear, the “attractive…Medici blue, red, and yellow” of these Swiss Guard uniforms gave me plenty to draw from.


Pimento Pepper Hummus

with Blue and Sweet Potato Chips

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:SONY DSC

For the pimento pepper hummus:

  • 1 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained and skins removed
  • 1 7.5 oz jar of pimento peppers, hand shredded
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed to a paste
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 fresh basil leaves, hand shredded
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the blue and sweet potato chips:

  • 1/2 large sweet potato
  • 2 small blue potatoes
  • 1 tbsp + 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste

*Potato size dependent, so use best judgement


For the pimento pepper hummus:

  1. In a food processor, first add in chickpeas and pimento peppers, followed by garlic, tahini, EVOO, lemon juice, basil, cumin, and salt. Process until smooth.
  2. Transfer hummus to a small bowl, cover, and chill until ready to serve.

Note: I actually thought this hummus tasted better the second time around as the flavors seemed to really come together given some time in the fridge. Thus, I’d recommend chilling overnight or making enough so that you have leftovers!


For the blue and sweet potato chips:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper (very important especially for the blue potatoes or else they’ll stick!).
  2. Using a mandolin or sharp knife, thinly slice blue and sweet potatoes separately to prevent colors from bleeding into each other. Again, keep sweet potato and blue potato slices separate when tossing them in olive oil (1 tbsp + 2 tsp respectively) to coat. You’ll probably have to bake in batches though so toss slices in oil just before baking.
  3. To bake, spread slices out onto the baking sheet (lined with parchment paper! Not only necessary for blue potato slices to prevent sticking, but also helps both get a crunchier chip) in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and bake for 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. If still soft in the center, flip slices over and bake for another 2-3 minutes or until crisp.
  4. Remove and let cool.


Putting it all together:

Medici blue: blue potato chips

Red: pimento pepper hummus

Yellow: sweet potato chips


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