smoky beetroot hoummous

smoky beetroot hoummous

I was in Portugal last week, waking up late, strolling along beaches and through wineries, toasting the sunsets from the patio terrace. You know the sort of thing, I’m sure.

If I’d flown back on Monday (glowering skies and pouring rain, complete signal failure and therefore train apocalypse), I think I’d be packing up and heading south. As it was, I’ve been back since Friday – so I have been reminded that it doesn’t always rain on this cold little island – but it already feels next to impossible that on Sunday I was sat at my garden table with a friend, eating lunch in the sun.

In retrospect, it feels like a very fitting farewell-to-summer lunch. I served this beetroot hoummous with crackers to scoop and some other bits and bobs, with elderflower cordial from earlier this summer, and it made a very leisurely-feeling lunch; the perfect way to start an afternoon of cider drinking and paper aeroplane races.

(I won.)

Recipe after the jump.

smoky beetroot hoummous
The recipe’s from the year in food. It’s a perfect way to use up any beetroots that have been languishing at the bottom of the fridge for a bit too long: you don’t need to be too precious about quantities, and the manky bits can be chopped right off. I wasn’t sure about the dill here, but it’s really lovely against the earthiness of the hoummous.

Enough for 4-6.

3 small-ish beetroot, about 300g
400g tin chickpeas
Juice of 1 lemon
2tbsp tahini paste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2-1tsp salt
1/2tsp smoked paprika
1/4tsp chilli flakes (a smoky variety if you have them)
2tbsp olive oil (optional)

To garnish:

Large handful pistachios, roughly chopped
1/2 a small bunch dill, chopped

Preheat the oven to 200℃.

Peel the beetroot and roast, covered with foil, for 45-60 minutes until tender.

Put all the other ingredients except the dill and pistachios into a food processor. When the beetroot has cooled enough to handle, chop it into smallish chunks and add to the rest. Blitz until you have a smooth puree, adding oil to thin if you need to.

Serve in a pretty bowl, scattered with the dill and pistachios.

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