When it comes to beets most people either love them or they hate them. I have a love-hate relationship with beets. When I decide I want to eat beets I get very enthusiastic about whatever it is I’m making. Then I eat like a serving of whatever it is that contains beets and I’m good to go; I’ve fulfilled my beet desires. And then I have tons of leftover beet whatever that I just made. This happened the last time I made something with beets which was a beet salad.
But this beet dish I could continue eating. And it may have less to do with the actual beets and more to do with the fact that the beets are mixed with creamy white beans. Any flavor of white bean hummus I make I can continue eating. I love white bean hummus.
Beet lovers should find this recipe exceptionally good but I also think this recipe would be enjoyed by the other beet love-haters (like me) or any of those on the fringe beet society people out there that like beets enough or eat them occasionally or eat them to be healthy.
So beets are such a fun vibrant color, aren’t they? The downside of beets is the flavor profile. Some people think beets taste like dirt. (I wonder if it’s the same people who think that cilantro tastes like soap? 23andme are you reading this? Is there a gene that addresses this?) Beets are very earthy in flavor. So if you don’t like earthy I could see why you wouldn’t like beets. I was concerned about this when I came up with this recipe for hummus. All the recipes I found for white bean/beet hummus were fairly similar involving olive oil and/or tahini and/or lemon. Kind of like standard hummus but with beets whirled into the mix.
So I went with a similar approach because no need to get whacky with ingredients. Plus beets are very strongly flavored and I worried about having too many competing flavors. That being said, I was worried the hummus would come out too earthy in flavor. To mitigate the earthiness, I added lemon zest along with the lemon juice and plenty of garlic because garlic makes everything better in my opinion. This resulted in the perfect harmony of lemony garlic hummus with a mild earthy beet vibe. Do you dig it?
This hummus was created for the sole purpose of being able to add it to Rainbow Veggie Rolls. The original recipe called for curry hummus — I hate curry. So Sis and I decided to come up with a different but complimentary flavor to add to the veggie wraps and beets fit perfectly into the rainbow color scheme by my estimation. I was pleased to taste the hummus and learn it would taste good inside or outside of the veggie rolls.
- 1/2 c. dried cannelini beans
- 1 small to medium-sized beet, roasted
- 1/2 c. good quality olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (more if you really like garlic)
- zest of one medium-sized lemon
- juice of one medium-sized lemon
- salt and pepper, to taste
- black sesame seeds, for garnish
- pita chips, crackers, carrot sticks, celery, sliced peppers, etc. for dipping
- Soak the cannellini beans in water overnight. Rinse and put into a small pot with water covering the beans by about two or so inches. Bring pot to a boil. Turn down to medium-low and let the beans cook in a low boil for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Taste the beans to make sure they are cooked enough before blending. Set aside and allow to cool.
- In a blender or food processor, add the beans, roasted beet, olive oil, garlic lemon juice and lemon zest. Blend until smooth. You may have to add additional olive oil or lemon juice depending on the size of beet you used and the size of your lemon or based on your preference for hummus texture.
- Taste and add salt and/or black pepper, to taste, if necessary. I added salt, no pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with black sesame seeds. Let the hummus refrigerate several hours or overnight to allow the flavors to meld.
I didn’t include the steps necessary to roast beets in this recipe; however, I can provide you some general guidelines if you’ve never roasted a beet.
I roasted mine at 400 degrees for about 60 minutes. I washed the beet, cut off the leaves and the bottom of the beet and wrapped it in tin foil. The roasting time will really depend on how big your beet is so you can start checking it around 40 minutes. I pulled it out when I could feel the beet was softer and more tender, around 60 minutes.
Once you’ve removed the beet from the oven allow it to cool before you handle it. You should be able to easily pull the skin off the beet at this point and then you’re ready to go.
I almost solely use dried beans to make hummus instead of going with the easy option of canned beans. (Dried cannellini beans are oddly harder to locate, at least in the Portland area. I found some in the bulk bin at Bob’s Red Mill.) Dried beans are my preference. However, you could probably easily swap out the dried beans for one can of cannelini beans (drained) and then rinsed.