MEL × RIVERBEND: Roasted Beet + Berry Hummus
RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS
The first time I had homemade hummus was in Montreal, standing in a friend’s kitchen as his mother began preparing the evening meal.
It was one of the first times in my life that I had experienced family life in a multi-generational home. There was tension, for sure, as everyone was grown up, had their own opinions and schedules. Yet, among all of these fine lines that needn't be crossed and unspoken rules, there was a sort of balance I had never felt before. A sense of deeply rooted belonging that permeated every word, every action and every dish.
Daily meals were prepared for twice as many people than there were sitting down at the table. It was understood and expected that a friend or family member might pop in, unannounced, to share the meal. There was always more than enough food to go around, and in the very unlikely occasion that food should run out, there was always a full pantry and capable hands ready to make more.
To me, this level of hospitality is heart expanding. It is one of the underlying notions of how I run my own kitchen today. In our home we jokingly say to our friends “It’s simple enough to add another stone to the soup. You are always welcome here”.
So, back to hummus.
Her’s was a traditional recipe, made of chickpeas, lemon, tahini & olive oil. She had been making this recipe long enough that her grandchildren, who were now adults were eating it. I couldn't help but think that part of the reason why her hummus was as bright as sunshine in the early morn', was that her hands were steeped in lemon from years and years of pressing.
This recipe is something else altogether. While it still contains some of the soul and simplicity of the dip I tasted in my friend’s kitchen, it is vibrant in ways unrelated to the juice of those sun-kissed citruses. It celebrates the coming of summer with the season’s very first roasted beets and the end of the cold season with the last of their pickled companions.
The acidity comes from vinegar in the pickles and the color, oh the color, comes in part from the beets and in part from this little northern berry that ripens on the summer winds. Fresh haskap berries bring a lovely acidity of their own to the mix. Their flavor is akin to raspberry meets tart green apple, and they round out the earthiness of the beets just perfectly.
If you cannot find haskaps, don’t fret, this recipe will be delicious without them. But if you can find them fresh, add them in and you won’t be sorry.
MAKES 2.5 CUPS
1 C cooked and drained chickpeas
½ C roasted beets
½ C pickled beets
½ haskap berries
2 T olive oil (more if needed
½ t salt
30 ROAST + 10 min PREP
- Remove greens from 4-5 small beets if there are any.
- Place on a baking tray at 400 for 30 minutes
- Once cooled add everything in a food processor & blend until smooth.