Beetroot and walnut hummus
This glorious purple concoction – a revelation for people who claim not to like beetroot, or walnuts come to that – is wonderful with crisp crudités, in a sandwich with goat’s cheese, or scooped up with flatbreads.
Put the walnuts on a baking tray and toast in an oven preheated to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 for 5–7 minutes, until fragrant. Leave to cool.
Warm a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and dry-fry them, shaking the pan almost constantly, until they start to darken and release their aroma – this should take less than a minute, so be careful not to burn them. Crush the seeds with a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder.
Break the bread into small chunks, put in a food processor or blender with the walnuts and blitz until fine. Add the beetroot, tahini, most of the garlic, a good pinch of the cumin, half the lemon juice, a little salt and a good grind of pepper, then blend to a thick paste.
Taste the mixture and adjust it by adding a little more cumin, garlic, lemon, salt and/or pepper, blending again until you are happy with it. Loosen with a dash of oil if you think it needs it. Refrigerate until required but bring back to room temperature to serve.
- 50g walnuts
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 25g stale bread, crusts removed
- 200g cooked beetroot (not pickled), cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- A little olive or rapeseed oil (optional)
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Who needs meat? Learn to turn local, seasonal produce into delicious veggie dishes at the River Cottage Cookery School