Everybody has staples in their diet – there are certain things that we just cannot seem to survive without. One of my most important staple items is hummus, or some other bean-based spread. Really, if dinner time is looming and I’ve somehow overlooked a lack of hummus in my refrigerator, then I’ll have to search the depths of my kitchen for a can of beans sitting lonely on a shelf, or some lentils ready to be cooked. In a moment of complete despair, I once mashed together with a fork (because my food processor was broken) lentils, sunflower seed butter (because I’d run out of tahini), cumin, and some lemon juice. It actually turned out quite well, and the evening was saved.
This hummus is a different story. I had about a day’s worth of hummus left, and needed to add something new to my rotation. The market I usually shop at sells a roasted garlic hummus, which tastes unlike any hummus I’ve ever eaten, but at $5.99 for a small tub, I can’t seem to justify the purchase. Which led me to make my own. With the added bonus of roasted carrots.
Two head of garlic may seem like a lot, but the flavor becomes sweet and subtle when roasted. The carrots caramelize slightly, and maintain a nice, earthy flavor when combined with nutty tahini and warming cumin. Other roasted root vegetables would work here as well (imagine a roasted beet hummus)!
I’m known for eating hummus by the spoonful, but this is a wonderful appetizer served with raw or blanched vegetables, toasted pita bread, etc. It also makes a great protein-rich alternative to salad dressing.
•2 medium heads garlic
•6 medium carrots, roughly chopped
•3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
•2 tablespoons tahini*
•2 tablespoons water
•1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
•1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
•1 teaspoon sea salt
•1/2 teaspoon paprika
•3 cups cooked chickpeas*
•Water to thin, as needed
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line with parchment paper or lightly grease a baking sheet.
1. Peel away the loose outer layers of skin on each head of garlic, then cut off the top 1/4 inch to expose the tops of each clove of garlic. drizzle one teaspoon of olive oil over each head of garlic, being sure to coat the top of each clove. Wrap each head of garlic in aluminum foil and place of baking sheet.
2. On the same baking sheet, toss the chopped carrots with the remaining teaspoon of olive oil and spread in an even layer. Bake the carrots and garlic for 35-40 minutes, until the garlic and carrots can be pierced easily with the tip of a knife.
3. Remove baking sheet from oven, unwrap the garlic, and allow to cool at least fifteen minutes.
4. Once the carrots and garlic have cooled, squeeze the cloves of garlic into the bowl of a food processor along with the carrots, tahini, water, cumin, pepper, salt, and paprika. Process until a homogenous mixture forms.
5. Pour in chickpeas and process again until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. You may need to add up to three tablespoons more of water to reach your desired consistency.
6. Taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary.
Notes: Be sure to stir the tahini before adding it to the food processor, as it tends to separate. For a chunkier hummus, reserve 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the chickpeas and pulse in at the end until just incorporated.
Are you a fan of hummus, and do you make it yourself? Have you made any interesting variations?
Here are a few of my other favorite hummus variations:
•Angela of Oh She Glows made hummus soup that you can really eat by the spoonful!
•Ashley of Edible Perspective made pumpkin spice hummus, perfect for fall.
•Kristy of The WIcked Noodle put a spicy twist on hummus with this cilantro jalapeño variation.