Make this gorgeous Beet Hummus to wow your friends at the next party. It only requires about 20 minutes of active work. It’s slightly sweet and tart, with a hint of spicy and a tad garlicky. Eat it with vegetables or spread on your pita bread.
The first time I made this Beet Hummus I was really blown away. I mean, look at this rich, vibrant and gorgeous color! Unreal. Almost too pretty to be snacked away. The flavor is quite intense, definitely very beet-like with some sweetness and a hint of garlic. And the texture? Ultra silky. It was the smoothest hummus I have ever tried. Why? Keep reading.
I came across this recipe reading my Christmas gift “My Paris Kitchen” by David Lebovitz. I heard before that in order to get a super silky hummus you need to peel the chickpeas after they have been cooked and cooled. I have never tried it because a) I used canned chickpeas, b) it seemed too time consuming and c) does it really make a difference? This time I was actually going to try it, so I used dried beans that were soaked overnight, then cooked and peeled before going into the food processor. Btw, chickpeas, known also as garbanzo beans, are the most popularly consumed legumes.
Soaking dried beans softens them up, which shortens the cooking time. The night before, rinse them well and remove any debris. Put in a pot or large bowl and cover with water. The next day, rinse them well and return to the pot. Add about 3 cups of water, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and bring to boil. Turn the heat to low, cook for 1-1.5 hrs until soft. Drain the cooked chickpeas well, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Transfer them back into the pot and add some cold water. Using your hands, gently rub the chickpeas to remove some of the skins. Throw away the skins and drain again. There will be a fair amount of skins left on. To remove them, gently squeeze each bean so it slips out of the skin. Put a few of the chickpeas aside to use for decorating.
Beets can be either cooked, steamed or roasted for this recipe. Since roasting root vegetables tends to intensify their flavor, I decided to go for the lighter version and cooked them instead. Cooking time can vary depending on their size and maturity (older beets take longer to cook)– anywhere between 40 minutes to almost 2 hrs. So, when you put chickpeas in one pot, put the beets in another. Scrub them well and keep the peel on. Add enough water to cover them and cook, covered, on low heat until they get soft. After the beets have cooled down, remove the skin.
Using a food processor, combine the chickpeas, beets, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, salt and cayenne pepper. Process until smooth adding a bit of the reserved cooking water to thin the hummus out.
David Lebovitz recommends adding a bit of pomegranate molasses to take this hummus to another level. I was able to only find a pomegranate concentrate so I used it instead. It provides a nice balance to the rich and earthy taste of beets. If you can’t find it, a mixture of lemon and honey might work, too. Taste your hummus and adjust the salt, cayenne pepper or lemon juice.
Place the hummus in a bowl, generously pour olive oil and decorate with few chickpeas, pine nuts, spice mixes like dukkah or sumac and/or pomegranate seeds. Store, covered, in a refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Serves: 6 to 8 Active time: 20 minutes Ready: overnight + 2 hrs
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 medium (about 12 oz) red beets
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 6 tablespoons tahini
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses or concentrate
- 2 teaspoons honey (optional)
Decorate: olive oil, chickpeas, sprinkle of sumac (Middle Eastern spice, lemony flavor), nuts, pomegranate seeds.
- The night before, soak washed chickpeas in a pot of water. The next day, rinse them well and cook in about 3 cups of fresh water and baking soda until soft, about 1-1.5 hours. Drain, saving about 1/2 cup of water and remove the skins.
- Scrub the beets and place them in a small pot, filled halfway with water. Cover and gently cook until soft, about 1 hr. Cool them down and remove the skin. Cut into quarters.
- In a bowl of food processor, add chickpeas, beets, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Process until smooth, adding some of the reserved water if needed.
- Add pomegranate molasses or concentrate and honey. Briefly process again. Adjust the seasonings. Transfer to a bowl and decorate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Serve at room temperature with fresh vegetables, chips or use in a whole wheat wrap.