I think that my favorite article of the year is also my first ever guest post. Here is the story of beet hummus, and its wonderful recipe. I have tried the hummus, and I think that it is great! Take it away Bean Scout Paoa.
It is well known, of course, that the key to an exquisitely prepared meal is dedication. This dedication can take form in a number of ways: focus, effort, time, self sacrifice…regardless of how you cut it, for cuisine to be truly blessed, there must first be an element of fixation. There is no better way to peel back the layers and find this fire in a cook than to have them work with an ingredient they connect with. As an unapologetic bean scout, I find beans are an obvious choice. But what occurs when a cook has the pleasure to work with two such ingredients? What grandeur, what magic could occur when two ingredients of deep-seeded personal importance are combined in a single dish? This is what I sought to find out when I decided to try my hand at a dish whose name still rings like sweet music in my ears: Beet Hummus.
Sure, beets are delicious, and obviously I don’t need to remind you all how majestic the great bean can be. But together? I had to try: It was my duty as a bean scout to find out. Follows are the directions, as guided by my personal experience, to make beet hummus. But first I shall provide a few details about our primary worship: The chickpea.
A quick Wikipedia search tells us that garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas, among other things) are one of the oldest cultivated legumes we know of, with remains as old as 7,500 years found in the Middle East. The chickpea is most commonly known in the U.S. for its use in hummus (which was already been featured in this blog in the form of a more standard recipe), but it is widely consumed across the globe. People in the Middle East, the Iberian Peninsula, the United States, the Philippines and even Mexico have incorporated garbanzo beans into recipes. Hummus is actually the Arabic word for chickpea, and hummus has quickly found its way into households around the world. An interesting fact that our humble blog host and ever-vigilant bean guide Matt shared with me: there has been some controversy in the last few years regarding the origin of hummus, resulting in some Lebanese interests seeking to classify hummus a uniquely Lebanese dish by the European Commission.
Of course, began my foray into homemade hummus with something lacking in the tradition that causes such contention. The first tasks at hand were also the longest: I was to cook the beans and the beets.
I prepared the beans in the enlightened manner of Matt’s teachings: soaked, boiled, five-bean check. For more information on this, I would refer to Matt’s previous posts as they are more steeped in the word and knowledge of a true bean guru. The beets, however, were done thusly:
4 medium-sized sugar beets
6 cloves garlic (more if garlic is one of your plant allies)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
Set your oven to preheat at 425. Peel your beets. Be delicate and don’t fret: remind yourself that their redness is not blood. Once their skins are in your compost, ready to return to mother earth, quarter your beets (if they’re particularly large, go a little smaller). Place them in a roasting pan with the garlic or casserole dish and toss them with your oil, lemon, vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar. Cover the beet receptacle in foil and place it in the oven with your timer at around 45 minutes. Check at 45 minutes, roast until fork tender. When they’re close, remove their thin foil shelter and let the beets feel the full force of the oven’s heat. They must be tempered in the true heat of roasting before they are fit to be mixed with beans.
When your prongs of a fork pierce your beets with no effort it is time that they are pureed. Add beets into a food processor with 1 TBSP of Olive oil and reduce them to mush. Next: the beans. The rest is easy.
6 cups cooked chick peas
1 cup Olive Oil
1 tsp Apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp tahini
Slowly and quite ceremoniously add your 6 CUPS of cooked chickpeas and 1 more cup of Olive oil to the food processer that already contains the beet mash, along with 1 TSP of Apple Cider Vinegar, the juice of 1 lemon, the zest from ½ of that lemon, 3 TBSP of Tahini, and salt and pepper to taste. Puree. Watch as the regal purple-redness of the beets mingles with the earthy browns of the chickpeas. What soon arises is a playful pink that contains the hearty, substantive creaminess of hummus and the earthy sweetness of beets.
Enjoy, fellow bean scouts. I’m glad to have taken this journey with you. I encourage you to regularly take your bean cuisine to new levels by incorporating more ingredients you love. Just beware false idols: remember that none can be so great as our beloved Fabaceae.
Bean Scout Paoa