A tasty and attractive twist on a classic dip!
Ever since I made this amazing beet pesto I’ve been trying to think of new ways to use delicious, nutritious beets in my cooking. I love them raw, like in this vegetable carpaccio, and they’re pretty swell roasted and served in salads too. But this hummus is my new absolute favourite thing. Hearty and satisfying, it’s got a bright flavour that lets all the ingredients shine. Using an InstantPot or pressure cooker makes fast work of cooking dry chickpeas, with no pre-soaking necessary. Note that you can use one can of cooked chickpeas for an even faster version; just be sure to drain and rinse them well, reserving 1/4 cup (60 mL) of the canned liquid to add to the food processor, along with a little cold water, as needed, to get the consistency you like. You can also soak dried chickpeas overnight then simmer on the stove for about 2 hours. You might be tempted to cook the beets with the chickpeas in the InstantPot – be forewarned that this will leach a lot of the colour and flavour out of the beets, so roasting them is really the better way to go. Also, did you know that you can freeze hummus? It takes a while to thaw so it’s a good idea to freeze it in small containers. Give it a good stir once thawed and it will taste as fresh and flavourful as the day it was made.
- 2 medium-sized beets (or equivalent in cooked, frozen beets)
- 1 cup (250 mL) dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) kosher salt
- 2 cups (500 mL) vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) minced garlic (about 2 large cloves)
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) extra virgin olive oil
- 5 teaspoons (25 mL) tahini
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) each ground cumin and smoked paprika, or more, to taste
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) warm chickpea cooking liquid
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Za’atar (or chopped parsley), to garnish
- If using fresh beets, prepare them by preheating oven to 400F. Wash beets and trim off stem and root ends, then peel and cut into 1 inch pieces. Place cut beets on a sheet of aluminum foil. Wrap tightly and place on a baking tray. Roast in preheated oven for 40 – 50 minutes, testing for doneness (beets should pierce easily with the tip of a sharp knife) after 40 minutes. Remove from oven and open packets; let cool for a few minutes until ready to assemble hummus.
- If using frozen, cooked beets, thaw.
- While beets roast, cook rinsed chickpeas by placing them and 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of the salt into the Instant Pot along with the vegetable broth. Add just enough water to cover chickpeas by 1 inch (2.5 cm). Cook on high pressure for 50 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release. Check the chickpeas by tasting one – if it is tender and soft, you are ready to proceed. If not, replace lid on InstantPot and cook for 5 minutes more on high pressure. If cooking for additional time, use the manual quick release method to depressurize the pot the second time.
- While chickpeas and beets are cooking, place the minced garlic and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a microwave-safe small dish. Cook on high heat for 30 seconds to soften and partially cook the garlic, eliminating its harsh, raw flavour. Set aside and let cool.
- Once chickpeas are tender, drain carefully (it’s easiest if you place a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the cooking liquid.
- Place the cooked beets and still-warm cooked chickpeas in the bowl of a food processor along with the garlic and olive oil mixture, tahini, smoked paprika, cumin, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Process on high until fairly smooth then slowly drizzle in reserved cooking liquid and continue to process until very creamy. Taste and adjust lemon and/or spices to suit your preference.
- Serve topped with a drizzle of olive oil and smoked paprika, chopped parsley or a few pinches of Za’atar.
Makes approximately 4 cups of hummus.