Roasted carrot hummus, with pita chips, and crudite are pictured at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. Photo by: AP Photo/Richard Drew
April 12, 2017 10:45:20 AM
Hummus generally contains five basic ingredients; chickpeas, tahini, lemon, garlic and olive oil. Once you have these ingredients combined, it is easy to add other herbs, spices and even roasted carrots -- like I do here -- to flavor and season basic hummus.
In the early spring, I love to roast fresh carrots until they are deeply caramelized and puree them to add to the base of chickpeas and tahini. To deepen the golden color, I add a touch of turmeric. The combined result is a deep golden yellow hummus that is the perfect color for daffodil season.
Served with flatbread for breakfast in some Mediterranean countries, the protein-rich and fiber-filled chickpeas make hummus a good way to start the day. In the U.S., hummus has become a popular appetizer and snack. Although hummus is sold at virtually all supermarkets, it is so easy to prepare that you really should start making it yourself. Frankly, it also tastes much better than store bought.
The secret to creating the creamiest and freshest hummus is making sure that the skins of the chickpeas are removed and discarded. Many brands of water-packed cooked and canned chickpeas come mostly skinless, so this is not as labor-intensive as it may sound and it's well worth the effort. I tested this recipe both ways and the skinless creamy texture made all the difference in the world. The skin-on version was rougher and chunkier and the texture took away from the delicate nature of the hummus.
Serve the hummus with crudites for a springy colorful snack or appetizer and pita chips. I like to make my own pita chips baked with a light brush of olive oil and seasoned with a sprinkling of coarse salt and za'atar. Once they are seasoned, you can cut them into triangles -- six per pita bread is a good size -- and bake them in a 350 F. oven until they are crisp.
ROASTED CARROT HUMMUS
Servings: 16 appetizer-sized portions
Start to finish: 50 minutes
1/2 cup well-roasted carrots, cut into small pieces (about 6 small carrots)
Juice of 2 lemons, plus more as needed (about 2 ounces)
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnishing hummus
2 generous tablespoons tahini (sesame paste), with some of its oil
2 15-ounce cans drained chickpeas, liquid reserved and skins removed
2 cloves garlic, peeled, or to taste
1 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon of white pepper or pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
Paprika, a sprinkling for garnish
Curly parsley for garnish
Pita chips (homemade or store bought)
Put remaining ingredients except paprika and parsley in a food processor and begin to process; add a couple of tablespoons of the chickpea liquid and more olive oil as needed to allow the machine to produce a smooth puree. The amount will vary every time you make it based on how much liquid is in the chickpeas.
Nutrition information per serving: 129 calories; 81 calories from fat; 9 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 220 mg sodium; 10 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 3 g protein.