This rich and luscious golden beet hummus is extra smooth and creamy. The beets add a silkiness that is hard to achieve with beans alone, and add a very subtle, sweet earthy flavour to this beloved dip. Plus a little trick in processing the hummus helps add to the creaminess, too. (Skip directly to recipe.)
‘The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” ~Jacques Cousteau
Well, lakes do that for me, too.
Being on the water thrills my soul. I grew up around boats – mostly river boats and motor boats, but the thrill was still born in me – the feeling of total freedom that comes when you skim the waves and feel all your cares just flitter away across the sparkling water. Bye bye worries. Or that feeling of weightlessness as you lay in a gently rocking boat, looking up at the blue, blue sky above you – fully understanding how tiny you really are within our vast universe. And how tiny your cares are, too. For a short while, you can forget it all and just imagine that you are heading off into the unknown, off into a bright blue future. Who knows where that boat may take you?
I had my fix again this year; my boat-in-the-water-breeze-in-my-face sailing fix. Earlier this summer, Raymond and I had a skim across the waves with our friends. (Did I say before how lucky we are to have friends who own a sailboat?)
We hit a day of glorious wind again this year. Flying across the water in full sail, with the boat heeling so much I could feel the delicious spray and touch the cool water with my fingers, was a thrilling ride; soul-cleansing. I could feel the cobwebs blowing out of my head, leaving space for beautiful new thoughts.
Then last week I got to go and play on the boat – our annual girl’s night sleepover (I guess Sabine decided she could brave my snoring for a night, once again!) Packing up my cooler of snacks and bringing my sleeping bag always feels like I’m heading off to grown-up summer camp, ready for adventure.
Adventure definitely called my name this time. Sabine and I headed off for a kayak trip to explore the little tributary we paddled into last year.
We paddled into the reeds, up the little creek that felt like we were in another world – far from lake and land.
However, as I was paddling, I was having more and more trouble steering my kayak. It kept wanting to go in circles, and I’d have to compensate by paddling hard on one side to get it straight again, then it’d do a little pirouette in the other direction. Cantankerous thing! By this time I was saying some not-very-ladylike cuss words under my breath. It was more and more work. My bum shoulder was getting sore, and I just wanted to get back to the bloomin’ dock.
With a lot of effort and some more bad words, I got my wonky kayak to the dock – and then thought, “Uh-oh.”
The surface of the dock is about 2 feet above the water level. Somehow I had to heave myself out of the kayak, up onto the boards, without capsizing the very light and very unstable vessel. My shaking shoulders did not feel like they had the strength to pull my body weight up.
Well, you can imagine what happened . . .
Yup. More cuss words as the kayak wobbled this way, then wiggled that way, then did a nose dive and started filling with water – with me frantically throwing my camera onto the dock. I tried desperately to stay upright and keep my leather slip-on sandals on my feet (smart footwear choice, huh?), all the time trying to heave myself up onto the boards . . . to no avail. The kayak sank. I was in water up to my armpits. Luckily there was a fellow nearby tending his boat, and Sabine called for help. Between the two of them they were able to drag, pull, and flop me up onto the dock, where I lay ignominiously – a streaming, water-logged, red-sweatered whale.
Thankfully there were no photos to document that little adventure.
After drying off and a change of clothes, it was heaven to sit on the boat, drink in hand, nibbling a few appetizers and watching the sunset. Looking back, I realized my problem had probably been that I’d forgotten to put my feet against the footbraces in the kayak (thinking of canoeing), and maybe been putting pressure unevenly on the floor of the kayak, causing me to go in circles. Either that or my kayak was possessed!
Enough water for one day.
Time for those nibbles. We feasted on smoked salmon with horseradish cream cheese and mini buckwheat blintzes, olives, and this amazingly creamy golden beet hummus with veggies. I even cut a raw golden beet into sticks as part of the dipping veggies – yummy!
We love hummus, and even though you can buy tubs of hummus everywhere, it’s so easy to make your own. Cannellini beans and golden/yellow beets make a fantastic difference – the dip becomes lusciously silky and smooth. These beautiful beets are from Peas on Earth organic farm, at the Strathcona Farmers Market. They turned my hummus from ordinary to out-of-this-world.
* * * * *
Kitchen Frau Notes: Hummus freezes well. I like to keep half the batch for eating fresh and freeze the rest in a small freezer-safe container for another day.
Hummus gets much more mellow after the first day. So if you find the garlic taste too strong when it’s freshly made, wait a day. Conversely, if you find the hummus has lost some of its oomph on the second or third day, give it another squeeze of lemon juice to freshen it up.
Whizzing the lemon juice, oil, and tahini together first gets them to emulsify and get creamy before you add the beans and beets. This step helps make an even more creamy dip.
*To cook the beets, trim off the tops, scrub them, and cover them with water in a large saucepan. Bring them to a boil, lower the heat and cover the saucepan. Simmer the beets until tender when pierced with a fork. This can take anywhere from a half hour to a full hour, depending on the size of the beets. Drain. Set a colander in the sink under the water tap. Hold the beets under the stream of cold running water and rub off the skins with your fingers. The colander will catch the skins. You can also wrap the beets in tin foil and roast them in the oven at 400°F/200°C until tender, then remove the skins with a paring knife.
- 1 can (14oz/398ml) cannellini beans or white kidney beans (or 1½ cups cooked beans)
- 1/3 cup (80ml) tahini paste
- juice of one lemon (3 tablespoons)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic (or 2 small ones)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- pinch of cayenne
- 1½ cups diced, cooked yellow/golden beets* (220gms), 2 – 3 medium sized beets
Set the beans aside in a sieve to drain (no need to rinse them).
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne. Whiz until the ingredients are creamy and emulsified.
Add the beans and diced beets, and whiz until very smooth. This may take several minutes.
To serve, drizzle with a bit of extra olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika or cayenne, if desired.
Serve with raw veggies, crackers, or pita bread pieces for dipping.
Makes about 2½ cups.
Variation: Use red beets for a beautiful, brilliant, magenta-coloured beet hummus.
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