Veggie-enhanced hummus a smart summer snack

Another camping trip under our belts has left me craving fresh vegetables.

After a weeklong campout featuring fairly diverse meals last month, my husband wanted a simpler format this time while staying in a campground lacking services of any kind. Enter the meat-bun format, as I’ve dubbed it.

About the only saving grace is hummus, one of my husband’s snacktime staples, with carrot sticks, snap peas and broccoli florets for dipping. Because hummus is available in so many flavors, Kalamata olive and roasted jalapeno factored into our snacks. And because hummus also is (relatively speaking) expensive, both were purchased on sale.

But next time, I may take a stand against vegetable deprivation and make my own hummus enhanced with veggies. Commercially made roasted carrot, artichoke, spinach, even beet varieties I’ve seen. But I could spend pennies on the dollar and blend up this roasted beet hummus. Try it for your summer snacking, picnics and potlucks.   

Tribune News Service photo

Roasted Beet Hummus

1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas

2 cups peeled and diced, roasted red beets

1/4 cup (2 ounces) tahini paste

4 garlic cloves, peeled

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons (1 ounce) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for garnish

Crumbled goat or feta cheese, for garnish

Roasted and salted pepitas, for garnish

Coarsely chopped, fresh herbs (such as tarragon, basil, mint or parsley), for garnish

Pita chips or grilled or toasted ciabatta, for serving

In a food processor bowl, combine the chickpeas, roasted beets, tahini, garlic, cumin, salt and lemon juice. Puree mixture until smooth.

Check hummus for flavor and consistency, then drizzle in 2 tablespoons olive oil while motor is running. This makes about 3 1/2 cups hummus, which will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to two days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Transfer hummus to a serving dish and make a small well in center. Garnish hummus with additional oil, the crumbled cheese, pepitas and herbs. Serve with the pita chips or ciabatta.

Makes 3 1/2 cups.

Recipe adapted by the Los Angeles Times from a recipe provided by the Fat Dog restaurant.

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