Winter mezze with Beet Hummus

(serves 4 as an appetizer)

 

Turn Up the Color and Flavor
Ordinarily, chickpea hummus has the starring role of a mezze plate.  In the midst of winter root vegetable season, we’ve swapped in beet hummus for a vibrant pop of color and flavor.  Chickpeas, roasted and spicy, still make an appearance on the side.  Honey and rosemary drizzled feta finish off our plate but you can also add other bits and nibbles.  Serve with pita or flatbread.

INGREDIENTS 

BEET HUMMUS
4 small beets, trimmed and scrubbed
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup water
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup aquafaba*, add more if needed
1 tsp harissa
salt and pepper to taste

*aquafaba is the reserved liquid from canned or cooked beans

ROASTED CHICKPEAS
1 15-oz can chickpeas, liquid reserved
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin

FETA WITH HONEY & ROSEMARY
4 oz feta, sliced
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp water  
1 Tbsp rosemary, chopped

METHOD

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place beets in medium-sized baking pan.  Add garlic and bay leaves.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add water to the pan.  Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil.  Roast beets for about 40 minutes before checking for doneness by inserted a paring knife into the center of each beet.  The knife will pierce through easily when the beets are done.  Otherwise, continue roasting and check again every 15 minutes until done.  Add more water to pan if it begins to evaporate.When beets are done, remove from oven and allow to cool.  Discard roasting liquid, garlic and bay leaves.  Once beets are cool enough to handle, slice off the stem and root ends.  Rub the skins off using a paper towel.  To keep your hands from being stained, wear rubber gloves.

Purée beets and tahini in food processor.  Slowly drizzle in aquafaba until smooth.  Add more if mixture is still chunky.  Add harissa and season with salt and pepper.While beets are in the oven, prepare the Roasted Chickpeas.  Rinse chickpeas and dry with a paper towel.  Combine chickpeas, olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika and cumin in a bowl. Spread onto a baking sheet and place in the oven.  Roast for about 15 minutes until golden and a little crisp.

To prepare the feta recipe for the mezze plate, combine honey, water and rosemary in a small saucepan.  Carefully bring to a boil and simmer for about 2 minutes.  Allow to cool.  Slice feta in desired sized pieces and reserve until assembling the plate.

ASSEMBLY
To assemble the mezze plate pictured above, we used various sized ring molds to scoop the hummus into for a formal presentation.  Mounding it on a plate or serving it in a bowl for a casual presentation is the more traditional option.  We kept the chickpeas contained in a small bowl and assembled the feta on the plate before drizzling it with the honey rosemary mixture.  Serve with plenty of warm flatbread or pita.
 

 

view related blog post:  winter mezze