February 4, 2012

Heart Beet

Beet Hummus

We've all had the typical appetizer, small bites set up: salsa, pita chips, hummus, veggie platter. It's all somewhat satisfying and even reassuring I guess, when you have an idea of what will be served at a party or casual get-together. It can get old though. Not to mention pretty lackluster and color-less. To add something that really pops out among the pale chips and crusty bread, a beautiful beet hummus may be what you need.

I tried this recipe the other night after finding a wide variety of options for using the sesame tahini that has been sitting around, with that Joyva man on the container just glaring back at me. I was excited because I knew even if the taste was bland or not what I was hoping for, the color of this side dish was going to be incredibly sharp and vivid (my cutting board and fingertips were a good indication of that).

Well, not only was the color a bright purple-red and stunning in any light, the taste was also so clean and so refreshing. There is definitely a subtle beet taste, but its not overwhelming. I happen to love beets, so I actually wouldn't mind tasting more of the beets, but for those that aren't a fan, this might be tolerable. You can taste a bit of the tahini in there, and just a hint of the cumin. I did not have enough cumin seeds to ground, so I ground what I had and then used a jarred ground cumin. Next time I'd like to use only freshly ground cumin, as I love how it flavors food, and I imagine it could give the hummus a bolder taste.

You can process this as long as you want, depending on your love for creamy hummus or a lumpy, textured one. Either way, its a lovely looking dish. It does not have that thick, full-bodied flavor and feeling of hummus made from garbanzo beans that you may be used too, but it is very satisfying despite its airy, lightness. Oh, I also roasted the beets prior to making this dish, instead of using ones canned or pre-cooked and vacuum sealed. This make take more time and preparation, but it's that fresh, sharp flavor of just-roasted anything, that truly makes a dish. Enjoy!

Beet Hummus
(adapted from Clotilde Dusoulier writer of the blog Chocolate & Zucchini)

*2-3 medium beets (about a 1 1/4 lbs.) trimmed of leaves and scrubbed clean (use more if you wish)
*3 Tbsp sesame tahini
*1 clove garlic
*1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more as needed (walnut oil, or another nutty or fruity oil may be great as well)
*3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
*2 tsp ground cumin
*1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375ยบ. Drizzle with a little olive oil and wrap each cleaned beet in foil and set in a rimmed pan or dish (to catch any bubbling juices). Roast for 45-60 minutes until tender. Set aside to cool.

Once cool enough to handle, unwrap your beautiful beets and peel away the skin (which should come off quite easily and can be done under running water). Cut the beets into chunks and put the in the bowl of a blender or food processor. Add the tahini, garlic, oil, lemon juice, cumin, and salt. Process until completely smooth. Add a little more oil as needed to get the texture you desire. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour to allow flavors to mingle and develop. Serve with toasted baguette slices, pita chips, crackers or toast points.


Hilary M said...

yum! i wonder how it would taste if you added some garbanzo beans as well? probably yum! maybe i'll try it out and let you know :) LOVE the color - a variation I've never seen before. Great post!

Ninoska said...

Mmm..interesting!! Love it Audra! :) Will have to try it at home...

Audra Majocha said...

Hilary, that could add an entirely different taste, and color, I will have to try that!!! I was also thinking of making a pea puree next time, or a pea hummus...I am into these bright, vivid dishes right now... probably to offset the gray, dreary days!

Audra Majocha said...

Hi Ninoska! Thank you! With a name like Ninoska, beets and eastern european veggies should be right up your alley! Just joking! It turned out really well. and so beautiful!

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