The humble carrot, that ever present root vegetable, loved the world over. Juiced, grated, baked, boiled, roasted, mashed, sauteed, stewed, steamed- you name it, the carrot is there. I'm a fan of these beauties in all their simple glory. They’re delicious, versatile, and healthy to boot. It seems no matter where I’ve roamed they’re to be found, whether that be smelling of sweet fresh earth just pulled by their feathery green tops from the soil, or lurking in the dark recesses of a wooden bin at a corner tienda in Central America offering the first fresh veg I’d encountered for days. We’re lucky to have access to the gorgeous- and currently enormous- field fresh carrots grown by Streamside Organics, which are abundant and chock full of clean micronutrients.
This week has been a whirlwind of busy days. While I may love to create complex culinary adventures, sometimes the simple and filling is where it’s at. Enter Hummus. It’s easy, lends itself to many dishes, and is even approved by my wild 10 month old- basically it’s a winner. Tonight I whipped up a big batch with spiced and roasted carrots. Chickpeas, earthy tahini, sweet carrots, subtle zip and zing from Meyer lemon and turmeric. This evening it will crown our bowls of mixed salads over rice, tomorrow pose as dip for crackers and feature on sourdough for a sandwich, and if there’s any left it will become salad dressing with a drizzle of added liquid and olive oil.
1 1/2 Cup (250g) Cooked Chickpeas + reserved cooking liquid
1/4 Cup (60ml) Fresh Lemon Juice, about the juice of one lemon
1/4 Cup (60ml) Tahini
2 Large Orange Carrots
3 Cloves Garlic
2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder or 2 finger sized pieces fresh Turmeric Root
1/2 teaspoon Cumin Powder
Cracked Black Peppercorn, few good turns
Salt, to taste
2 Tablespoon Olive Oil, or about two good glugs
The How To:
Heat oven to 200• and grab a baking tray. Rough chop two carrots (though throw in extra if you have ‘em, they’re delicious on their own!). Toss the carrot in your baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, a few pinches of salt and cranks of pepper, cumin and either the fresh or powdered turmeric. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until the carrots can be easily pierced with a fork. Set aside. This can be done ahead of time, such as whenever you have the oven on for other baking.
In the bowl of a food processor place garlic and lemon juice; give it a few good pulses to chop the garlic. Add chickpeas, tahini, roasted carrots, and enough of the reserved chickpea liquid to allow the mix to be processed smoothly. It is far easier to add liquid than to subtract it so start with a small amount and add as needed. You may need to scrape down the sides with a spatula. The addition of the chickpea cooking liquid, or aquafaba, will create a fluffier hummus than using plain water, though either is just fine. Taste, then add extra salt and spice as deemed appropriate by your tastebuds.
If serving the hummus as a dip, spoon into a bowl and top with a glug of olive oil and a few spoonfuls of extra chickpeas or roasted carrot. Sprinkle a touch of turmeric or paprika over the bowl, and your plain old hummus has taken on a gourmet look.
-Hummus is pretty forgiving stuff. Don’t have tahini? Skip it, just add in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Don’t like turmeric? Substitute another spice or herb you prefer. Ate all the carrots already? Use kumara.
-Freshly made hummus can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 6 days, if there’s any left by then.
-You can use tinned chickpeas for ease and speed, but I highly recommend learning to soak and cook up a pot of dry peas. They’re more affordable, sustainable, and easier on your digestive system.
-I often double or triple the batch as it's so handy to have around.
Created by Elena Keir of Naked Cakes & Wholefoods