Celebrate Spring with Roasted Carrot Hummus
Hummus comes from the Arabic word meaning chickpeas and it 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 your basic hummus.
Hummus is served for breakfast in Mediterranean countries with flatbread. The protein-rich and fiber-filled chickpeas make it a good way to start the day. In the USA, hummus has become a popular appetizer and snack. Although you can buy hummus everywhere, it is so easy to make that you really should start making it yourself. Frankly, it also tastes much better than store bought.
Hummus experts say that 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 big a job as it may sound and is 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.
In the early spring, I love to roast fresh carrots until they are deeply caramelized and purée them
to add to the base of chickpeas and tahini. To deepen the golden color, I add a
touch of tumeric. The combined result is a deep golden yellow hummus that is the perfect color for daffodil season.
Serve the hummus with crudités 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 coarse salt and z’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
Makes about 4 cups
Takes about 50 minutes to make
½ 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
½ 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
¼ teaspoon of white pepper or pinch of cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground tumeric
Paprika, a sprinkling for garnish
Curley Parsley for garnish
Pita Chips—homemade with z’atar spice or store bought
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat carrots with oil and season with salt. Place on a rack set into a sheet pan and roast carrots. Remove from oven when soft and browned in places, about 30 minutes depending on the size of your carrots. Cut into small pieces and set aside.
2. Place carrots in a food processor with the lemon juice, lemon zest, tahini and olive oil and process until smooth, about 1 minute.
3. Put remaining ingredients except the paprika and the 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—this amount will vary every time you make it based on how much liquid is in the chickpeas and any other ingredients that you use like the carrots.
4. Taste and adjust the seasoning (I often add more lemon juice).
5. Serve immediately or chilled in a shallow bowl with pita chips and raw vegetables, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with a bit of paprika and some parsley.
6. Keep tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.