25 August 2006

La Festa al Fresco: Beetroot hummus

Our darling Cream Puff invited me to a late summer feast, co-hosted by Lis of Mia Cucina.

La Festa al Fresco (I love saying that--horrid accent et al) celebrates the end of summer with a bloggy potluck with all guests (and crashers) supplying just one dish that features one fresh ingredient.

I must admit that I find potlucks, at once, liberating and frightening. Liberating because I'm not the one soley in charge of feeding the ravenous hordes (okay, yes, I do like cooking for a crowd, but still). Frightening because there's a deep-down worry that everyone will bring the same dish, or platters of spray-cheezed crackers...or worse, everyone brings platters of spray-cheezed crackers...yeah, when I organize pot lucks (or cookie exchanges), it's a pretty organized event with limits as to the numbers of variations on a theme...

I don't expect this group to provide a plethora of the foresaid dreaded platter...unless of course, people brought home-made or artisinal cheese served on freshly baked crackers or melba toasts...now THAT would be good.

So, with invitation in hand, I thought about what could I possibly bring. I received the invitation at the same time I was perusing
Easy Summer Food for Canada Eats and I found what I believe to be a really good candidate for this soiree: Beetroot Hummus.

When I saw the gorgeous photo in the book, I knew I had to make it: a soft mound of puce-coloured loveliness. How could I not try it?

This recipe was a pleasant surprise for me. I fully admit to not liking boiled beetroot--too many childhood memories of my parents' garden and the mass of purpley-red tuberous veg they harvested each year. In recent years I've tried it roasted and grilled and I much prefer it (well, actually the golden ones) prepared that way.

It is ludicrously easy to make and the only time I had to turn on the stove was to cook the beets. The dip has a nice, slightly firm texture and hides a very distinctive bite (thanks to the addition of horseradish). The recipe came with a second recipe for pan-grilled bread. I decided against making the bread and opted to serve it with cucumber slices. I thought the two paired very well--clean, crisp and cooling veg with the creamy and slightly hot dip.

I took the dip to the office, where I knew beetroot lovers existed. A goodly number of people gravitated towards my filing cabinet (aka "the usual place")--those who like and dislike beets came out of the woodwork. Even those of us who aren't enamoured with the veg kept going back for more. I think that says it all.

Beetroot Hummus, from Easy Summer Food

Serves 6

Ingredients
250g cooked and peeled beetroot (about two), drained and cut into chunks
25g fresh breadcrumbs (or 50g dried)
1 fat clove garlic, crushed
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp grated horseradish
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
salt and pepper, to taste

  • Puree all ingredients, except for salt and pepper, until smooth. Season to taste.
  • Serve with a combination of crudite, grilled pitas or flatbread or chips.
Notes:
  • Pressure-cooking the beetroot makes for a quick and easy way of preparing the veg. If you really don't want to boil or pressure cook them, I suppose you could use canned beets, but be sure to rinse off the liquid.
  • I used bottled, grated horseradish, but squeezed out the extra juice.

cheers!
jasmine

tags:

13 comments:

JuliaMazal said...

I've only started liking beets in the last two years, but I'm still afraid of horseradish. This looks interesting, though.

Ellie said...

I have a nervous tick that makes me terrified of beetroot, but I must admit that your dip looks divine! And the pairing with the cucumber sounds ideal, especially for a summer fiesta :)

jenjen said...

Jasmine, this hummus looks so good. I have to say I am beetroot all the way!!
This recipe sounds fantastic.

By the way I tagged you for the 5 foods to try before you die list that Melissa from The Traveller's Lunchbox is compiling.
Hope you can join in!

Here's the link to my post:
http://ilovemilkandcookies.blogspot.com/2006/08/foods-to-try-before-you-die-australian_26.html

K & S said...

sounds very nice!

Lis said...

Jasmine this looks wonderful, truly! I absolutely love the color of it - it's gorgeous! I am glad you went with the cucumbers.. I think that's a great pairing with a slighly zesty dip like this. Thank you soooooooo very much for bringing it to the party!! This is going to be the best end of summer bash ever! :D

Ivonne said...

Let us never speak of sprayed-on cheez again! (Shudder!)

I just love this dish! The colour alone is stunning and I can't imagine a more appetizing and original offering for a potluck.

You my dear have a place of honour at any potluck I ever have!

Jasmine said...

Hello all!

Julia - Don't let the horseradish throw you off of this dish. You only really notice it as a "final" note. You could always reduce the quantity if you really aren't that sure.

Ellie - When I made it I grilled some store-bought pitas and tried those as well as the cucumbers...much prefer them with the cucumbers.

Jenjen - Finally a beetroot fan! Glad you approve. Thanks for the tag. I'm pulling my list together...

Kat - Yes, it was really lovely. A number of people asked for the recipe.

Lis - Welcome! I am so glad you approve. Thanks for the invitation--can't wait to see what the others bring :)

j

Tanna said...

I think this looks really wonderful - always looking for new ideas with beets.
Really enjoyed the book review but my connection wouldn't let me comment there.

Sara said...

Yes your review was great - just like this dip.

Jasmine said...

Hello again!

Ivonne - All you have to do is email me and I'll be there :)

Tanna - Glad you like it...I think everyone who tried it liked this dip. Re Canada Eats perhaps it was a glitch?

Sara - Thanks so much!

j

Kalyn said...

Sounds very interesting, in a good way!! One of my sisters hates beets, so I always eat her share.

keiko said...

Hi Jasmine - I'll definitely give it a try this one, it looks/sounds wonderful. I love beetroot :)

Hope you're feeling better now, look after yourself.

Pille said...

I love hummus, and beetroot, so this should be very much according to my taste. I'll give it a try soon.
Thank you, Jasmine!!