Happy first day of spring!
I really do appreciate all of the seasons here in Virginia and could tell you my favorite things about each one. But, man, if this hasn’t been the longest, rainiest winter. I love snow, and we just didn’t get enough of it this year. So, see ya next year, winter! Thanks for nothin’.
I’m so ready to welcome warm, long evenings, buds and blossoms, the sweet serenade of spring peepers (which I’ve already started to hear!), all the beautiful shades of green we are so lucky to have here in Virginia and — of course — I’m ready for the lighter fare that we all instinctually crave when cold and gray turns to warm and sunny.
This roasted beet and chickpea hummus is the perfect light snack to nibble on as the days get warmer and longer. If you can’t be bothered to turn your oven on (I have those days too), you can make this with store-bought roasted beets. You can find them in the produce section of a lot of grocery stores. They are vacuum-sealed and refrigerated.
I wouldn’t use canned beets for this. Or you could leave the beets out and just have a really delicious, classic hummus. The whole roasted beet (as specified) is mostly for color, although it does add a slight earthy taste that I love. And, as you probably know, beets are packed with nutrients. Plus, how often do you get to eat something hot pink that’s actually good for you?
This is great as an appetizer, as I’ve shown here, but would also be wonderful as part of a Mediterranean-inspired meal. Hummus is great with just about any grilled meat, but it’s especially good with köfte. Which reminds me, I really need to post my dad’s köfte recipe (putting it on the list). But if you just Google “Turkish köfte,” you’ll find some good recipes.
Roasted Beet and Chickpea Hummus
1 15-ounce can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (reserve a few for topping)
2 peeled garlic cloves
Juice of two lemons
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup good-quality extra virgin olive oil (plus a little extra for topping)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 whole roasted beet (instructions below)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)
To roast beet(s):
Preheat oven to 400. This can be used to roast just one beet or as many as you’d like.
Scrub beets well. Place on a piece of aluminum foil large enough to wrap around all beets and make a pouch. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt. Wrap tightly and place on a sheet tray in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in aluminum pouch. Once cool, peel skin using a small paring knife.
To prepare hummus:
Place all hummus ingredients in a food processor or high-powered blender and process for 5 minutes until very smooth and creamy.
If you want two tones of hummus, just add about a quarter of the beet, process as instructed, remove half of the hummus mixture, then add the rest of your beet to the remaining hummus. Process again until very smooth and creamy. There you have it — two tones of gorgeous hummus!
I smeared the lighter tone on the bottom and sides of my bowl, then added the darker tone in the center, but you can arrange it any way you like. Get creative!
Top with reserved chickpeas, sesame seeds and a generous drizzle of olive oil and serve with your favorite veggies, crackers, pita and bread.