Who doesn't like a good hummus? Mild, nutty and agreeably versatile, this creamy Levantine dip is a go-to for snacks, spreads and party dips. It's also a wonderful starting point for variations, such as carrot hummus.
Carrot hummus, you say? You bet: Picture your favorite Middle Eastern hummus -- the ubiquitous blend of chickpeas, sesame paste (tahini), olive oil, lemon and garlic. Then, send it farther west to North Africa, picking up a few more ingredients along the way, such as coriander, mint and harissa, a fiery Moroccan chili paste. Now, add the carrots, but before you do, roast them first, softening them to a blending consistency, coloring them with a little char and coaxing out their ample natural sugars. Give it all a good long blitz with the usual hummus ingredients in a food processor until thick, creamy and smooth.
Take a taste -- it will be mildly sweet, slightly nutty, a tad smoky, vividly colored and bright with citrus. Scrape it into a bowl and lick the spoon, then decorate the top with a shower of chopped crunchy pistachios and fragrant mint. Chances are you will never go back.
Roasted Carrot Hummus
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: makes about 2 1/2 cups
3/4 pound carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons tahini
1 to 2 tablespoons harissa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for garnish
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 cup coarsely chopped shelled pistachios
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the carrots in a small baking dish. Add the oil, salt, cumin and black pepper and stir to coat. Roast in the oven until the carrots are tender, 25 to 30 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove and cool slightly.
Transfer the carrots and any pan juices to the bowl of a food processor. Add the remaining hummus ingredients and process until smooth. If too thick, add additional olive oil or warm water to your desired consistency. Taste for seasoning.
Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl and garnish with the pistachios, mint and extra black pepper. Serve with pita wedges, a baguette and/or crudites.
CAPTIONS AND CREDITS
Caption 01: Photo by Lynda Balslev for TasteFood.