Thursday, January 11, 2018

A New Year & a New Kitchen Toy: Roasted Beet Hummus

Disclosure:  Cuisinart sent me this lovely food processor free of charge.  All opinions about it are my own.  

Happy New Year, dear friends.  I hope you all survived the holidays relatively unscathed.  I'm super glad they are over, and now we can carry on with everyday life.  Keep in mind that my everyday life still involves cookies and cakes, but also plenty of vegetables and pulses.  It's all about the balance, you know. 

Before the holidays, the sweet people at Cuisinart reached out and asked if I needed any small appliances.  Talk about a good email day!  As it happens, my 20 year old Braun food processor finally bit the biscuit, and I was looking for something new.  I loved that Braun - it made a million batches of energy bars and hummus and pie dough, but like many things in life, it was time to move on.  Before I knew it, there was a friendly Fed Ex guy on my doorstep dropping off a new food processor for me.  Cuisinart sent the big gun - a 12 cup Cuisinart Elite Collection 2.0 Food Processor.  Not only is it heavy on the looks, it is heavy, period.  I've used many a food processor in both my culinary endeavours at home and at work, and this guy has the weight I'm looking for.  It's not going to slide around when I'm breaking down nuts and dates for energy bars.  I like that feature a lot.  I also like how shiny and pretty it is, just because I'm a sucker for shiny and pretty things.

Performance wise, this machine is a star.  It has a 1000-watt peak power induction motor.  In other words, it is going to kick my old Braun's butt in the power department.  When I tested it out for the first time, my roasted beet hummus turned out incredibly smooth, with no annoying chunks of chickpeas lingering about.  Also, the food processor is very quiet.  Like, you could have a convo with your kids or partner while you're using it.  You don't even have to shout if you don't want to.  Clean up was a cinch, assembly is straight forward, and I love that there is a small bowl that will fit inside the larger bowl if I only need to process small amounts of something.  There is also a blade just for making doughs, as well as slicing and shredding discs.  The manual is easy to read and has loads of recipes.  Fresh peanut butter, here I come!  In case you can't tell, I'm super excited about this latest addition to my kitchen, and I can't thank the kind people at Cuisinart enough.

Now, to the hummus.  I bet you are in love with that colour just like I am.  So vibrant.  So beety!
This dip has all the usual hummus players, except some roasted beets and some horseradish for bite.  It's absolutely delightful, and a great way to get more beet love in your life.  Serve with ample fresh cut vegetables and pita chips.  I make my own too (surprise surprise) where I just toss fresh pita bread triangles with plenty of olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and whatever spices I feel like.  Lately it's been za'atar and sumac.  Bake in a 350F oven for about 12 minutes, tossing occasionally and there you go.  So good.  This roasted beet hummus is great for snacking and even as a sandwich spread ( I love it in wraps with lots of fresh veg).  I think next time I'll roast the garlic too, just for fun, and make a double batch so I can freeze some for later.  I've got the machine to do the job, that's for sure!

Stay warm out there, and remember to be kind to one another.

Roasted Beet Hummus

2 medium beets (or 3 small)  need about 8 oz total
1 can (540 mL/19 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp horseradish
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tsp each ground cumin and coriander
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
3-4 Tbsp water
mint leaves, toasted sesame seeds, poppy seeds, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Scrub the beets well and place them in a shallow, foil-lined roasting pan.  Pour a little water in the bottom of the pan.  Cover tightly with foil and roast until fork-tender, about an hour.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely.  Slip the skins off the beets once they are cool and slice into chunks.  This step can be done 1-2 days ahead.
Place the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, horseradish, garlic, spices, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor.  Process on high for a few seconds.  Drizzle in the olive oil while the motor is running.  Stop and scrape the bowl, then drizzle in the water while the motor is running.  Process until very smooth.  If too thick, drizzle in more water a tablespoon at a time.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Scrape into a serving bowl, garnish with mint leaves, the seeds and more olive oil.  Serve with toasted pita chips and fresh vegetables.  Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

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