what? another take on hummus?
We have this favorite little Japanese maple out back. This past week, its finely pointed leaves began to wave then drop in sweet clusters of beet red.
It was quite impossible to say no to the urge that hit me…so, with that…Wegetable Vednesday makes a comeback!
With the crimson and scarlet, burnt orange, rust and gingko gold of fall flying, suddenly I craved the taste of color.
I’m in school and everything I do in the kitchen for months will need to be simple. So, for a while simple is all I have to offer you.
…and a hope and a toast to your very good health!
(Though the following recipe calls for black beluga lentils, they may be somewhat difficult to find. You can order on line if you like, or substitute with small, dark green Puy Lentils. Both these varieties will make a more luxuriously textured and dramatically colored hummus.)
Red Beet & (Black Beluga) Lentil Hummus
Black Beluga Lentils, rinsed - ½ cup
2 medium Beets or 3 small – peeled and cut into chunks
garlic – 2 cloves, peeled
Tahini Paste – 2 Tablespoons
Olive Oil – 2 Tablespoons
Fresh Lemon Juice – 2 Tablespoons
Lemon Zest – 2 teaspoons grated (minimum)
sea salt – 1 teaspoon (to start)
NOTE: Sometimes lentils off the shelf are rather old and will benefit from a little soaking. Nothing extravagant here, but it wouldn’t hurt to allow them to soak an hour or two before draining and cooking. If your package says no need to soak, then no need to soak.)
Rinse the lentils and add to a medium size pot. Peel the beets and cut into chunks about 1½ inches in size. Add to the pot with the lentils and add 1 cup of water. Bring to boil and reduce temperature to simmer. The beets should be fork tender and the lentils soft when done. (About 20 minutes or so.)
In the meantime, into a high powered blender or a food processor, drop the peeled garlic cloves. Finely chop with motor running. Add tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt. Process until creamy. When the beets and lentils are cooked, add them to the processor or blender and blend on high speed until what you have is a red velvet hummus to dip your veggies in. Or your crostini. Or your chips. Or your fingers.
As with all hummus, your taste is the crucial ingredient. Add more zest if you like it zingy. (I do.) Add more garlic if you like that extra bite (my Guinea pig does). If you aren’t on a salt-restricted diet, by all means add a good sprinkling of coarse or flaked sea salt. It looks fetching on red, and veggies like it!
For a printable version, click here.
(This recipe was adapted from one appearing in Vegetarian Times last spring.)