Sponsored by Love Beets
Let’s take a journey into the way back machine.
Back back back, far beyond when I first had a blog. Or the blog before this blog. I bet you did not know that I had a blog before this blog, did ya? I started it between my junior and senior year of college. The Cutting Veg name has always stuck along, but that blog had the funniest attempts at photos. We’re talking photos on the floor to catch that lighting. And the recipe that started it all was a smoothie bowl!
I hope you guessed right, cause that smoothie bowl was INSANE! Ice ream for breakfast insane!
No we’re going far beyond those times to 11 year old Sarah. That year, dear friends, was the first year that my love for cooking started. You see, before then, I was not really interested in cooking my own food. I mean, sure, I helped my mom and dad in the kitchen, but it was probably worse than pulling teeth.
The first recipe I remember making with my dad was hummus. We took a Palestinian cooking class together. I was exposed to so many different types of food I had not seen before! What the heck was kibbe anyway? Being there with my dad and concocting some amazing fare was one of the fondest memories I have. I am very grateful that my dad has always been a curious cook. If you wonder where my creativity comes from with my recipes, you can thank him for that.
Let us just say I learned a lot about hummus during that cooking class. You would be surprised that, depending on the region, hummus can vary WIDELY. In the United States, we usually only think about one flavor profile when it comes to hummus. However, how people make their hummus across the Mediterranean varies from country to country. People will even turn against each other if a chickpea/tahini/olive oil/lemon concoction does not meet their definition of hummus. There have been threats of war between countries (I’m looking at you, Lebanon and Israel) about who is the true creator of hummus. If you MUST know about my dad’s hummus preferences, it is a lot of garlic, a lot of lemon juice, fresh parsley, and a bit of mint.
You can tell we don’t skimp on the flavors.
Now, this recipe is definitely NOT the hummus that I learned how to make in that cooking class. For one, it is not even made of chickpeas. I like my hummus smooth and, to do that, you need to peel the chickpeas. And it’s a lot of work, but it makes it SO worth it. However, I find that, when I am in a pinch, white beans straight from the can are just as good (without the peeling!). There’s plenty of garlic and lemon thrown in here (a homage to my dad!) And, for a one two punch with the flavor, I throw in some jarred pickled beets. I just love the sweet and sour tang in here! If you are wondering where in the world you can buy marinated beets that don’t involve pickling your own, I HIGHLY recommend Love Beets marinated beets. You can also substitute plain, cooked beets, if you are not entirely down with the pickled thing.
But, you know me, I’m always down with the pickled thing.
Seriously, now that I am back from my two days in Rochester, NY, I have to say that I have a thing with this company. For those of you that do not know, Love Beets is committed to providing high quality, delicious beets to consumers. We were able too see the farms where most of the beets are produced. While most of their products are organic, they do use conventional beets in some products. There are just not enough organic beet farmers to meet demand. Love Beets grows most of their crops in NY State, meaning the beets keep all of their delicious flavors and nutrients once they are processed. They serve as an intermediary between a team of scientists and farmers to assure their natural farming practices produce the highest yeild possible. For example, they use drone technology to map out feels of beets and use the beet tops to replenish nutrients into the soil. Plus, how cool of a title is beet scientist?
While in Rochester, we also had the opportunity to tour their production facility. The Love Beets production facility is top-notch, both in terms of their staff as well as their process. it was clear to see that their team is very passionate about what they do and the quality of products that they produce. The plant manager, who has been with the company since it’s inception, lead our tour. He was very enthusiastic about beets to say the least! We were able to witness the entire process of Love Beets production. I got to see the raw beets straight from various farms go through to the process of checking each beet by hand to ensure quality, to peeling and marinating to arranging for shipment across the country. I learned how Love Beets is committed to reducing their waste by recycling the juices the beets emit during processing for their packaged beet juice and for fertilizer. They want to finding ways to bring more sustainable packaging to market.
You can definitely taste the difference of the Love Beets marinated beets I use here. It just brings the flavor to a whole other level! This makes for the perfect snack with some sliced cucumber or toasted pita. I love using it to top my salads or grain bowls for a dressing of sorts. You can even do what I do and eat just hummus for lunch with a little salad on the side. It is the perfect thing when you are so hot you can’t stand it.
- 1/2 cup chopped pickled beets, thoroughly patted down to dry (or plain cooked beets)
- 3 tablespoons well-stirred sesame tahini
- 1 tablespoon reserved bean liquid (either from the can or cooking from scratch)
- juice of 1-2 lemons (I like mine extra lemony)
- 1-2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (I like mine extra garlick-y)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- handful of parsley, roughly chopped
- huge punch of salt and pepper
- 1 14 ounce can of white beans, rinsed and drained (or 2 cups cooked white beans)
- olive oil, to serve
- za'atar, to serve
In the bowl of a food processor, add pickled beets. Pulse until only small bits remain. Add sesame tahini, bean liquid, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, parsley, salt, and pepper. Pulse until the tahini is aerated and mixture is combined. You might need to add cold water to the mixture to get it to blend. You want the tahini sauce to be very smooth.
Add the beans and blend for about 2 minutes. You may need to add a little cold water to get the beans to move, but you want the mixture to be super creamy. Taste for seasoning and add more lemon juice, cumin, or salt, if needed.
To serve, spread hummus on a plate. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with za'atar and extra chopped parsley. EAT
Yay for not cooking!