We go through a pretty fair amount of hummus at our house, especially since we’ve been trying to eat less meat. I eat it with veggies or pita chips a lot as a snack and Betsy uses it on sandwiches sometimes.
Hummus is good for so many reasons. First, it’s good for you. Second, it’s really easy (and fairly economical) to make. Third, you can add all kinds of delicious stuff to it to spice it up if you get bored with the standard. For these hummus varieties, I added some beets to one and a few roasted red peppers to the second batch.
Can you guess which batch had the beets?
You can kind of make hummus your own. There’s a ton of recipes out there. For me though, a hummus dish has to have a few things in it:
– Tahini Paste
– Olive oil
After that you can go a bit crazy with ingredients. This first hummus I made is pretty standard and you can buy it in your grocery store. It’s better (and I think cheaper) if it’s homemade!
1) For red peppers, either buy jarred roasted red peppers or roast your own on the gas stovetop or on the grill. Just crank the heat up to high and set the peppers right on the burner. Turn ever minute or so until the peppers are very charred.
2) Let peppers rest, covered, in a bowl for 10 minutes. Then rub off most of the skin.
3) Remove the seeds from the peppers and chop roughly. Then add to your blender or food processor.
4) Add all your other ingredients and blend until smooth. You might need more olive oil to get the right consistency. Just adjust as you go.
5) For beets, trim off any stems and boil them until they are very tender, about 30 minutes. Then drain and let them cool and then peel and dice the beets.
6) Add all the beets and other ingredients to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
7) Serve either hummus with pita chips or pitas. Both versions are also great on sandwiches. They will keep fine for 10 days in the fridge.
Roasting the Peppers
The only hard part about this recipe is roasting the peppers (it’s not that hard people). You can buy jarred roasted peppers that will work perfectly for this. If you want to do some DIY peppers though, just crank up your gas stove to high heat and carefully set the papers on the burner!
And yes, this will only work with gas.
Turn them with a good pair of metal tongs every 30 seconds or so to make sure they are evenly roasted on all sides. They’ll probably take about 5 minutes to get nice and charred. They should be almost completely black when they come off.
Put your peppers in a bowl and cover them with plastic wrap. The heat from the peppers will steam off the skin so it’s easy to remove. Let them sit, covered, for about 10 minutes before trying to peel them.
When peeling the peppers, gently pull off the skin. It should come off really easily. It’s okay if you don’t get it all. I don’t like to wash my peppers because it washes away all the flavor, but if for some reason you wanted them to be perfectly clean, then wash them I guess.
Next cut out the seeds and roughly chop them up. Add everything to your blender or food processor!
Note that if you’re using a blender, it’s going to be slow going. Hummus just isn’t quite liquid enough to blend perfectly, but you can use a spoon to stir up the ingredients or add a bit more olive oil to get a nicely blended result.
This took me a few minutes and a few stirs… not a lot of work for a lot of hummus.
The Beet Variety
The first time I saw this I knew I had to try it right away. The original recipe didn’t have any chickpeas in it though so I modified it because, to me, without chickpeas it’s not really a hummus.
Besides the beets, I think the lemon zest and juice is the most important part of this recipe. The citrus flavor it adds is fantastic. You’ll need a good microplane zester though for the zesting part.
Prepping the beets
Like with the roasted peppers, the prep of the beets is the only hard part really. Start with 4 medium-large beets. No need to scrub them or anything like that but trim off any stems that are attached.
Boil them for about 30 minutes until they are very tender. Then drain them and let them cool a bit. You should be able to very easily pierce them with a fork or knife.
Once they’re slightly cool, peel the beets and cube them up! And yes… they will stain your hands. It can’t be helped.
Once your beets are ready, stuff everything in the blender and it’s the same story as the red pepper version.
Just pulse up everything until it’s nice and smooth. The end result will be very colorful!
Making Pita Chips
You could serve either of these with a variety of things. Cucumbers with the beet hummus was very tasty and the red pepper hummus goes great on a sandwich or on some carrots.
Pita chips, however, go pretty well with both versions. You can definitely buy these at the store, but you’ll get more bang for your buck if you make them from fresh pita which is a lot cheaper.
Just take your pita, cut it into sixths, and peel apart the layers. So you end up with 12 chips per pita. Then spread out all the pita chips on a baking sheet. I can usually fit about 4 pita’s worth of chips on one sheet.
Sprinkle with a Tablespoon or two of olive oil and a pinch of salt!
Bake those for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees, turning once just to make sure they cook evenly. Then let them cool and they should crisp up perfectly!
The beet variety was interesting. It had a pretty sweet flavor to it which was good, but I couldn’t eat a whole bunch of it. Meanwhile, I could eat my own weight in the red pepper variety. That’s just my personal tastes though as I thought both versions turned out really great.
You can store these in the fridge for a week without a problem or freeze them if you make sure to put them in an air-tight container and put a layer of plastic wrap on the surface of the hummus so it doesn’t get a film on it.
Do you have a favor hummus flavor? Leave a comment!