Roasted beets are a year-round staple in our home; they’re fantastic for tossing in salads, alongside tangy feta cheese and lightly pickled red onions; as a sumptuous filling for fresh ravioli with goats cheese; incorporated into spicy veggie burgers; or, I have done here, combined with chickpeas and a few other ingredients to create a luscious take on traditional hummus. The addition of lots and lots of lemon and fresh mint here provides a zingy contrast to the sweet earthiness of the root. I always have a large bowl of hummus in the fridge and this is one of my favourites to eat with freshly baked flatbread and crisp crudités.
250g good quality dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in plenty of water
3 medium beetroots, washed, unpeeled and cut into quarters
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 tbsp of tahini
50g fresh mint, picked
2-3 lemons, zested and juiced (depending how big they are)
Pinch of ground cumin
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to your taste
Fresh mint, finely chopped, to garnish
How I make it
Drain the soaked chickpeas picking out any that appear damaged. Tip them into a large saucepan and cover with plenty of water. Bring to the boil, partially cover and simmer for five minutes. Skim off the foam and then add the bicarbonate of soda and watch it go bonkers – this is an important part of the process because it helps to soften the chickpeas. Again, skim off any foam, partially cover and simmer for between 30-40 minutes until the they are soft. Drain over a large bowl to retain the cooking liquor.
Meanwhile, heat an oven to 200C. Place the prepared beets onto a baking tray, drizzle with a generous glug of olive oil and plenty of sea salt. Roast them for around an hour until they are soft. When cooked, remove the beets from the oven and set aside to cool. Then gently slide off the skins and place into a food processor.
When they’re ready, add the cooked chickpeas, 250ml of the cooking liquor and the garlic and blitz until you achieve your preferred consistency adding more liquid you need to.
Add the remaining ingredients (just the juice of two lemons to start with) and blitz again. Taste, season and add more lemon juice if you need to.
When you’re ready to serve, garnish with the lemon zest and finely chopped mint leaves.
This will keep in a lidded container in the fridge for up to five days.