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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.)

41 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’ve been clicking here almost every day since your last post, I’m so happy to be here, spree! Your artist’s eye has created the prettiest of all things hummus.. and the flavors must be just incredible! Simple? I think not, the imagination and creativity in this recipe speaks volumes. Loveliest of fall recipes, spree! xx

    October 23, 2013
    • Cooking spree I love it.

      October 23, 2013
    • Smidge, thank you! Love seeing you here. How I’ve missed our sweet connections and am happy to be back in touch again. This is quite a brilliant gem of a hummus, so a nice change from the usual golden one we make. It was easy, fun and does feel like it somehow belongs in fall. Thanks again. Be well, my friend! xx

      October 24, 2013
  2. Fabulous idea and lovely pictures. I very much like beetroot and always have tahini and puy lentils in the house…so I shall be trying this.

    October 24, 2013
    • Nice of you to say. You’ve got all you need Roger so I hope for a report back! : )

      October 24, 2013
  3. Looking good – what a colour – and scrabble is totally my favourite board game.

    October 24, 2013
  4. Val #

    Very nice. In our house it’s about 50/50 crudités and fingers 🙂

    October 24, 2013
    • Yet another thing our houses have in common Val! : )

      October 24, 2013
  5. It’s soooooo pretty! Squeeeeeeal!

    October 24, 2013
    • I love it when people squeal!! (especially you Movita!)

      October 24, 2013
  6. settleandchase #

    I can never get enough of Hummi (could that be the plural..?!) I’ve tried a carrot and orange version (delicious..) but not thought of beetroot – yum! And these gorgeous photos deserve a book – that large beetroot one is crying out to be the title page..

    October 24, 2013
    • Hummi! I love that! I’ll have to start a whole new category! Funny that you mention carrot hummus…was just thinking of that yesterday as I was whipping this up. I didn’t however think of orange, and OH I can taste it now! (Especially with a heady roasted cumin note!) Thank you so much, you so kind Cath!! : )

      October 24, 2013
  7. So gorgeous and creative! I love the looks of this, and you present it so wonderfully. I do love me some hummus! Never would have imagined one with beets, though. You’re always full of surprises.

    October 24, 2013
    • This is really really tasty Ashley…and in a little girls favorite color. : )

      October 30, 2013
  8. Don #

    I love me some humus, but this looks to have em all BEET. Can’t wait to try it!

    October 24, 2013
    • You are ever good with the pun Don!! (I know you, and you’re gonna like this!)

      October 30, 2013
  9. This is so smashing looking. Beets, Black Lentils….Hummus…what a modern twist on the well-loved classic. Great recipe and really beautiful.

    October 24, 2013
    • Thank you so much Teresa. It’s a real healthy number, besides! I love it when a food can be delicious, nutritious and ravishing all at once!

      October 30, 2013
  10. stunning colour, deep simplicity and what are you going back to school to DO.. Missed you, how did I manage to get so far out of touch.. good morning! c

    October 24, 2013
    • Good morning (here) Cecilia! I’m (finally!!) finishing my degree – Interdisciplinary Studies in Science and Art. It’s not so much about the do-ing as the Having Done. You know? : ) But I do have a big project in mind that I’m so excited to begin – once school is done! I’ve missed your farm and you upon your far! Will try to visit Much more often!! All dependent on time. You know? : )

      October 30, 2013
  11. Oooohhhh…beautiful AND tasty AND healthy! Perfect! Thanks so much for sharing!

    October 24, 2013
    • My great pleasure to share! Thanks for sharing your words with me!!

      October 30, 2013
  12. Oh such a soothing recipe, your photos just get better and better and I am sure you could be a food stylist/photographer as a professional in your spare time 😉 !! xx

    October 27, 2013
    • This really IS a soothing recipe Lesley. I hadn’t thought that exact thing until you said it. I love hummus, any good one, but there’s something really tender about this one…you being artist would know what I mean! : ) And thank you for the suggestion (and the compliment!!)…I have some spare time a year from this coming Thursday, in the afternoon. I’ll give it some thought then! 🙂 xx

      October 30, 2013
  13. That beet hummus looks delightful!

    October 28, 2013
    • Why thank you, Miss May!

      October 30, 2013
  14. Sorry to arrive so late, Spree. You were spammed! Don’t take it personally. Others were with you …
    I love the color of this hummus. With the crudité, it makes a gorgeous platter and presentation. I bet your dinner guests all remark about it when you place it on the table. I know I certainly would.

    October 29, 2013
    • Oh, I arrive late at your place all the time, John. Thank goodness the food’s still there though, along with the great table conversation! (And actually, I think you were just fashionably late.)
      Yes, I love the color of this too, and if you’re looking for a little “passion” on the table, this isn’t a bad place to start (though it’ll hardly be Enough!) : ) Thanks John!

      October 30, 2013
  15. Enchanting photos and delectable recipe! The regal purple hummus is perfect for a fall feast with friends or just snacking at the kitchen counter!

    October 29, 2013
    • A royal bowlful, fit for a peasant’s fingers! (that’s the sort I have, and they’re in it all the time.)

      October 30, 2013
  16. This looks amazing and your photographs are beautiful!

    October 29, 2013
    • It IS a nasty number. : ) Thank you for your nice words!

      October 29, 2013
  17. HI there Miss Spree – lentils + beetroot = delicious! I make a beetroot dip with cumin added but I hadn’t thought of using lentils – that’s the genius part my friend ! And your in school – that sounds interesting/fun/ etc! Hope you have a super day x

    October 30, 2013
    • Hello Miss Claire! All the protein from the lentils, PLUS their color that doesn’t compete with the beet’s own crimson…it’s a keeper. 🙂 School is crazy! What AM I doing? 🙂

      October 30, 2013
  18. No need to take time to reply but I’d be derelict if I didn’t add my words of praise for your photography to those of your other readers–perfectly composed in every way and totally pulls the viewer into the picture. Of course, the recipe looks great too. I’m looking forward to learning more about that project you mentioned that you may embark on in “a year from this coming Thursday”.

    October 31, 2013
  19. Look at that beautiful color…simple but beautiful.

    November 3, 2013
  20. Lentils and beets? There aren’t two things I like more in this world. Except perhaps cheese.

    This looks like a beautiful hummus and a great way to use my black beluga lentils! Thanks for sharing.

    January 4, 2014
    • Thanks Eliza B! And of COURSE you’re welcome!

      January 27, 2014
  21. amazing pictures and recipes…may have to try this one for the Saturday night tea tray 😀

    January 8, 2014

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