Friday, June 07, 2013

Pretty in pink: Lemon-mint Beet Hummus

I like hummus. But, I concede to a co-worker that the plain old stuff is, well, rather plain. It's like white paint at the hardware store. Great for ceilings, right, but even better as the base for mixing in pigment to make all the different paint colors imaginable. Whether its decorating, cooking or just life in general, everything is a lot more exciting if you see what they could be instead of what they are not.

By far, my favorite hummus yet is the Sweet Potato Hummus from last fall's chef demo at Powell Gardens. But it's spring, and beets are in season. The deep pink color of this hummus is stunning on a plate with edible flowers, green herbs, and lettuces, or with spring carrots or fennel.

Roasted Beet Hummus
1 medium roasted beet, peeled (roasting instructions below)
1/2 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup tahini paste
Juice of 1 lemon plus zest
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs. packed mint leaves
1 small clove garlic
1/3 cup olive oil, plus more if needed
Salt and pepper to taste, start with 1/2 tsp. salt

To roast beet, remove stems and greens, reserving for another use. Wash well. Place in foil. Heat oven to 375. Roast for about 45 minutes, or until tender when pierced. You may want to roast a few beets at a time in the foil packet, for use in other recipes. Remove from oven. When cooled, use a paper towel and "wipe" the peel off the beet.

To make hummus, add all ingredients except olive oil to food processor. Pulse to combine. While the blade is running, drizzle in the olive oil, using a bit more if needed to get the texture you like. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper. Chill well to let favors marry. Great with a bit if feta cheese on top for serving.

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