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Beetroot hummus

For this shocking-purple variation of the classic chickpea dip, bread is used as a thickener because beetroot makes a thinner purée than chickpeas. Hugh has given exact quantities here, but the way to make hummus is to add the ingredients a little at a time, tasting and tweaking as you go, until you think it is perfect. You could make a larger batch, it will sit quite happily for several days in the fridge, ready to dip raw vegetables into when you fancy a snack.


Toast the cumin seeds in a dry frying pan over a medium heat, shaking the pan almost constantly, until they start to darken and smell amazing (less than a minute).

While still hot, crush the seeds using a pestle and mortar, or a spice grinder.

Break the bread into chunks and whiz in a food processor to crumbs.

Add the beetroot, most of the garlic, 1 tbsp tahini, a good pinch of the cumin, half the lemon juice, a sprinkling of salt and a good grinding of pepper.

Blend to a thick paste.

Taste the hummus; you should be able to detect every flavour.

If not, add a little more of whatever is lacking and blend again.

Keep tasting and adjusting until you are happy.

Serve with flatbread and/or vegetables for dipping.

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  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 25g crustless, stale bread
  • 200g cooked beetroot
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • About 1 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and black pepper

This recipe is taken from...

River Cottage Bread Handbook

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