Monday, May 20, 2013

Beet & Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Two Fridays ago I went to an event my friend Kristen had at Laura Preshong in the South End. Laura and the other designers she carries make gorgeous, ethical jewelry (some of which will soon be mine woohoo!). She also makes some of the most unique engagement rings I've ever seen so click on her name there and have a look see. The event  had a pink theme, which allowed Laura to showcase some of her best pink jewels and attendees sipped rosé wines and enjoyed a variety of pink snacks. It was delightful!

One of said pink snacks was a beet and roasted red pepper hummus and IT. WAS. AMAZING. At first no one really knew what the heck it was. A pink dip? What? But we just kept cluelessly munching away. Finally someone asked what we were eating and Five Seventy Market's beet hummus was revealed as the object of our taste buds' affection. Clearly this was something I had to make.

Beets are hanging out with kale and quinoa in the new cool kids section at the grocery store. I love when obscure or previously shunned food items make a come back and end up in everything. I don't remember beets as being delicious. I remember my mom giving us pickled beets for dinner and I thought they were disgusting. Why did you do this, mother? The modern beet, however, is different. They have a high sugar content so they're really sweet when they're roasted. They're great on a salad with some toasted walnuts and crumbled blue cheese. And you really can't match the color! Be gone, ancient pickled beet.

I started with a basic hummus recipe, cut down on the chick peas, and just added a roasted beet and a roasted red pepper and that was it. I think this is a recipe I'll be able to build on and experiment with for a while. I would like some different herbs and maybe some salty green olives in it, but I kept it basic for now.

1 small roasted beet (see below for roasting instructions)
3/4 of a can of chick peas, drained
1 roasted red pepper (from a jar or roasted yourself)
2 Tbs. tahini
2 cloves garlic, minced
Zest of 1 large lemon
Juice of half a large lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

To roast the beet start by pre-heating your oven to 375. Scrub the beet under running water until it's clean and cut off the bottom root bit. Place the beet on a sheet of aluminum foil and drizzle it with a little bit of canola oil. Wrap it up and put it in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour or until a knife slides in and out easily. It took 45 minutes in my weird oven.

Word to the wise about beets - they stain everything. Your hands, your counters, your cutting board. So keep it on the foil and wear gloves when handling it. Once your beet has cooled so it's not too hot to touch, you have to peel it. It's really soft at this point so just run your knife over the skin and it should come right off. After my beet was peeled I stuck it in the fridge to cool and then cut it into chunks.

Put your beet in a food processor and and process them until they're in small bits. I only have a tiny little food processor, but it's the perfect size for making dips and dressings. After the beet has been processed, add everything else in aside from the olive oil and process until it's smooth, but still a little chunky.

Since my food processor is just a little guy I had to scrape down the sides a few times, but it still got the job done. In a bigger processor you can pour the oil through the feeder tube with the processor running until the hummus is smooth. I don't have that option so I just put the oil in all at once and blended it up. Same thing.

Look at the color!! Did you even know that food could produce a color like this naturally? I sure didn't. Make sure to taste the hummus after it's been processed and adjust the salt and pepper to your taste. I found that this needed quite a bit of each since the beet and the red pepper are so sweet.

But really, have you ever seen a color like that? I think at least half of the appeal. It is delicious though. The beet flavor isn't overpowering nor is the pepper flavor. It is sweeter than a traditional hummus, but I think you'll like it.

Serve it up with some veggies and pita chips and you've got a perfect snack. Serve this at your next party and perplex your guests as to the origin of this hot pink dip. And how fun would it be at a shower for a baby girl or another kind of pink theme night?

Feel free to share your thoughts on beets. Hopefully your mother didn't scar you for life with those awful pickled ones. Have you ever had a unique dip or hummus like this?


  1. I have never thought of beets in hummus. But it clearly combines two of my most favourite things, so I will have to attempt soon. Glad the event at laura Preshong was a fabulous success, I am a huge fan of her work, especially all the engagement rings, divine!!

  2. I'm starting to like beets more and more (I bet mostly for the hot pink color) and this hummus does sound pretty appetizing!