Recipe: A hummus makeover

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It's time to dress up for the holidays. While this certainly applies to our wardrobes, here we are talking about hummus. Hummus is a party favorite, easy to make in advance and unfailingly popular. It's also very beige in color. This recipe gives the dependable Levantine chickpea-and-tahini dip a holiday makeover, infusing it with a jolt of color and a sprinkle of bling to usher in the festive season.

For that task, look no further than the humble beet root. Beet roots are sweet and earthy, packed with fiber, vitamins and nutrients, and, for the sake of a party, they are decidedly not beige. Their brilliant fuchsia flesh lends vibrance and extra depth of flavor (not to mention healthy antioxidants) to the hummus, elevating it to take center stage in your appetizer spread.

Other sweet and colorful root vegetables, such as carrots or sweet potatoes, can be substituted for the beets. Roast the sweet potatoes until tender, then peel. If using carrots, peel them first and then roast until very tender. Both vegetables will tint the hummus a warm orange color and contribute their flavor to the dip.

Once prepared, top off your hummus with a generous sprinkle of garnishes, such as grated lemon zest, chopped mint or cilantro, chopped pistachios, and a drizzle of olive oil for extra bling. It's the party season, after all.

Roasted Beet Hummus

Active time: 15 minutes

Total time: 15 minutes, plus roasting time for the beets

Yield: Makes about 2 1/2 cups

• 1 pound medium red beets, roasted until tender, skin removed

• 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

• 2 garlic cloves, chopped

• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

• 1/4 cup tahini

• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 teaspoon Sriracha

• 1 teaspoon kosher salt

• 1 teaspoon ground cumin

• 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


• Extra-virgin olive oil

• Finely grated lemon zest

• Chopped fresh mint or cilantro


• Baguette slices, pita bread, seasonal crudites

1. Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process to blend. If too thick, add warm water to loosen. The hummus should not be too soupy. Taste for seasoning.

2. To serve, transfer to a bowl. Garnish with a light drizzle of olive oil, lemon zest and mint. Serve with baguette slices, pita bread and/or crudites for dipping.

3. The hummus can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Serve at room temperature.

Lynda Balslev is an award-winning writer, cookbook author, and recipe developer based in northern California. Visit TasteFood at


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