In the middle of winter, when snow is on the horizon and going out means bundling up with lots of layers....you may not find a large variety of colorful fruits and vegetables at your local farmers market. But, behold the wonderful winter root vegetables1 They're robust and very pretty and can make a hearty meal. We love beets as a colorful addition to any plate. Here, they add an earthy goodness to the usual hummus, and they really wake up the presentation. More on the winter crudités to come soon.
THE BIG DEBATE: Your typical food snob will advise that sometimes using canned beans is a no-no. I couldn't disagree more. There is a time and a place for everything, including canned beans, and this is the perfect one. Assuming you will use organic-no-salt-garbanzo beans, you have the green light. Canned beans will blend beautifully and become smooth and creamy. Soaking and cooking dried beans would be perfect for a recipe like CHIC-PEAS WITH SPINACH AND SWEET HUNGARIAN PAPRIKA.
1 medium red beet, boiled and cooled, skin off
1 can of no salt garbanzo beans, drained (reserve the liquid!)
4 cloves garlic
zest and juice of 1 lime (zest first)
2 T liquid from can of chick peas
splash of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
4-8 dashes of tabasco sauce
Use a medium size food processor.
Cut the beet into quarters and put into the food processor, pulse it for one minute on and off.
Add in the beans, garlic, zest and juice of the lime, 2 T of the liquid from the can, a splash of olive oil, and blend until smooth about three minutes.
Add in the salt and pepper, blend and taste. Finish with a few drops of tabasco sauce and more salt if needed. Blend until smooth.
Use extra virgin olive oil as a garnish along with a line twist.