During the week I am very busy. On some days spending time in my kitchen is a pure luxury for me. It happens only rarely that I don’t have time to cook, but it happens. Between my appointments I occasionally manage to come home for an hour – hungry and in a hurry. The last thing I want to do in such moments is to cook (I repeat- it is an unusual situation). Without taking my shoes off I open the refrigerator, hoping to find something “real” to eat but also something that I don’t have to cook. Many times I ’don’t find anything adequate and in those moments I usually take just a piece of bread or an apple, or some dried fruits and then I run to my next appointment. Hungry again. But then, I found the solution in hummus.
I definitely don’t want to discuss which country hummus comes from. Were Arabs those who came up with the idea to make a chickpea puree, or was it the Jewish people from Jerusalem? The conflict between those two beautiful and rich cultures is unfortunately already so tightened, that I don’t want to make it any worse with my cultural food studies. Let’s say that hummus comes from one of the most fruitful regions in the world- the Fertile Crescent.
Hummus is such a great food. It is easy to make, it is healthier than almost any other puree, and you can store it in the refrigerator for a couple of days. When I know that my week schedule is going to be strongly occupied I prepare some hummus in advance to avoid frustrations caused by appetite.
There are several ways to serve hummus: as a dip, appetizer, with falafel, grilled vegetables or meat. There are also so many variations to make hummus – with tahini (a paste made from ground sesame seeds), with ice cold water, combining chickpeas with other vegetables etc. I like to play with seasonal vegetables. This time I used a beetroot. And I promise, it was not only because of the color!
Hummus with beetroot
Ingredients (for one medium sized jar):
100 gr chickpeas, soaked overnight and then cooked for 1 ½ hours until soft
1 medium sized beetroot
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tsp native olive oil
1 tsp tahini (sesame paste), optional
½ tsp salt
1. Soak chickpeas overnight in the double amount of water. On the next day drain the chickpeas and cook them in fresh water for around 1 ½ hours. Drain the chickpeas and set them into one large-sized bowl.
2. While the chickpeas are cooking, put the whole beetroot in the oven (don’t peal it!) and roast it for about 45 min. to an hour. When the beetroot is done, peal it, chop it finely and add to the chickpeas. (When I make salads or dips with beetroot I prefer to roast and not to cook it in the water because in that way it gets a delicious smoky taste and it is easier to peal afterward).
3. Add lemon juice, tahini if you use it, garlic, salt and olive oil.
4. There are two possibilities: Either you put all ingredients into the food processor and process them until you get the desired consistency (the puree should be very smooth, without ANY lumps), or you leave the ingredients in the bowl and puree them with a stick blender until you get a totally creamy consistency.
5. Serve it with freshly baked bread, fresh vegetable sticks or grilled vegetables. You can store the leftovers in the refrigerator for a couple of days.