The recipe for this beet hummus comes from ‘River Cottage Veg!’, the latest cookbook from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and one I can highly recommend. I am not a vegetarian myself, but eat little meat and this book has been a great source of inspiration for vegetarian meals lately.
From comforting and heartwarming dishes (parmigiana, pumpkin and fennel lasagne) to creative salads (spelt with walnuts and pumpkin) and original sides (Cambodian wedding day dip); this book offers a huge amount of ideas for a vegetable-based meal.
The Beet Hummus from this book was a real winner and I’ve already made it several times. I had prepared beet hummus before, but the walnuts in this recipe are a brilliant addition. They provide some crunch and really intensify the flavors.
The sweet beetroot is nicely balanced by a zing of lemon juice, and the cumin and tahini turn this dip into a real hummus. The gorgeous pinkish red color is a pleasant bonus, and makes this dip perfect for entertaining.
This hummus is delicious with some bread, raw vegetables or crackers for dipping, but also makes a great sandwich filling (especially combined with goat cheese). You can keep it in the fridge for several days.
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1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons (50 gr.) walnuts
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
half a slice (about 15 gr.) stale bread, crusts removed
7 oz (200 gr.) cooked beetroot (not pickled), cut into cubes
1 tablespoon tahini
1 large garlic clove, crushed
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt and black pepper
A little olive or rapeseed oil
- Put the walnuts on a baking tray and toast in a preheated oven at 350F (180C) for 5-7 mins. (Note: I often do this in a pan). Leave to cool.
- Warm a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and dry-fry them, shaking the pan almost constantly, until they start to darken and release their aroma – this should take less than a minute so be careful not to burn them. Crush with a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder. (Note: you could substitute ground cumin and skip this step)
- Break the bread into small pieces, put in a food processor or blender with the walnuts and blend until fine. Add the beetroot, tahini, most of the garlic and cumin, half the lemon juice, half a tablespoon of oil and a little salt and pepper. Blend to a thick paste.
- Taste and adjust by adding some cumin, garlic, lemon, salt or pepper. Blend again until you are happy with the result. Loosen with some oil.
- Keep in fridge and serve at room temperature.
Recipe from River Cottage Veg! (Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall)