Beet Hummus


Firstly, I have to clarify that this recipe is not a true hummus. Personally, I don’t really love hummus. I mean, it can be good, but there are a lot of bad ones out there – at restaurants and pre-packaged at stores like Central Market and Whole Foods. Some are too lemony, some are tasteless, and sometimes the hummus is mealy. I prefer a softer, smoother texture that I get from using white beans instead of garbanzos.

So this recipe is actually a white bean dip recipe made with beets. There is no lemon and no tahini and no garbanzos. It’s just sometimes easier to say or write hummus, rather than white bean dip!

I recently made beet ravioli again, and this time I used canned whole beets to see if there was a difference in the beet filling, as compared to using roasted beets. As it turns out, that there wasn’t any difference.

With all of the many different variation of white bean dip I’ve made over the years, I’ve never included beets, and I decided to change that immediately!

For the beet ravioli filling, the cooked beets are finely processed, placed in cheesecloth in a colander over a bowl, and weighted down. This serves two purposes – the juice is collected for a reduction, and the beets dry out to create a denser filling. So keep in mind that these beets have been squeezed “dry.”

So this is what I did today:
white bean and beet dip
White Bean and Beet Dip

1 – 15 ounce can Great Northern white beans
1/4 cup minced cooked beets
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
Pinch of salt
Olive oil, about 1/4 cup
Olive oil for drizzling
Valbreso, or other feta cheese, optional

Drain the white beans well in a colander. I give mine a rinse as well.

Place the beans in the jar of a food processor. Add the beets*, garlic, cumin, and salt.

Process, pouring in a little olive oil at a time until the mixture is fairly smooth. Scrape down, and process until the bean dip is smooth.

Serve immediately, with pita triangles or crackers. If desired, drizzle a little olive oil on top of the dip.

A little crumbled feta cheese on top is also tasty!

* You don’t have to squeeze the liquid from cooked beets for this recipe, but you may not need as much olive oil if you don’t. Just add the oil slowly, until the proper consistency is reached.

note: The next time I make this, which I will, I will use 1/3 of a cup of beets, instead of the 1/4 cup I used. The beet flavor is surprisingly a bit subdued. I could used less garlic and cumin, but I really was after that beet, garlic, and cumin flavor combo!

If you’re interested in my other white bean dip recipes on which I’ve posted, check out white bean dip, and another white bean dip!

36 thoughts on “Beet Hummus

  1. Great pic! Fun and festive! I just like dip. I think it qualifies as a a food group. For really smooth hummus, you need to try Ottolenghi’s method from his book of the same name. I wrote about it on my blog. I love it! Cheers!

    • I have seen that method, but that is a lot of work. White beans are just soft and smooth, so I only use cooked chickpeas/garbanzos whole in soups and pastas.Thanks!

  2. Interesting to hear about the canned vs. roasted beets. I’ll remember that. We do love hummus here and variations with avocado or cilantro are some of my favorites. I hear you on the texture and when it’s bad, its just awful. The color that the addition of the beets gives is just plain pretty. I will look forward to making this…I think it would be a lovely addition to cocktails!

    • Let me explain further… typically when you roast beets, as you know, you roast them whole, then remove the peel. You’re left with cooked beets. If I want really roasted beets, I peel them first, chop them up, then roast them. Otherwise you’re just roasting the peel! So I think there might be a difference if I had really roasted the beets but the recipe didn’t have me do that.

      • Okay, that is helpful. Thank you for the clarification. I don’t work with beets that often, but I’d like to. I’ll use your recipe as a guide and see what I come up with. Since spring is approaching, I was thinking of adding some beets to our vegetable garden as well.

  3. My husband really likes beets. Me, not so much. But this looks like it makes a small batch, so perhaps we can surprise both of us! And maybe I’ll find out I like beets more than I thought. One never knows until one tries, right?

    • I really love the earth and dirt flavors of beets, but seriously, with enough fresh garlic in this dip, you really don’t taste them much. That’s why I thought that next time I’d up the amount of beets. So definitely give this a try!

  4. I know what you mean about bad hummus. I don’t know if you’ve tried true Middle Eastern hummus because that stuff really is amazing,,,it is light and fluffy and melts in your mouth with just the right amount of tahini, lemon and garlic.
    Having said that, I love white bean dip too, and this is a great variation with the beets.

    • I’ve had a few good ones, one made by Lebanese woman that was fabulous. Another had pine nuts on top, and was drizzled with browned butter. Not too sure if that was tradidional or not. I don’t buy pre-packaged stuff for myself, but when I visit my kids, I buy them stuff that they can munch on, and have been really surprised at how bland hummus is at these stores.

  5. Love this version of hummus, I am addicted to the stuff and always love to try a new take…. beets are not my beloved’s favorite thing, but when mixed with other goodies he doesn’t complain. Not too much…

    • Honestly, this recipe wasn’t nearly beetish enough for me. And like I said, maybe it was also because of the garlic and cumin. And sprinkled with enough feta? Yeah, he’d eat it!!!

  6. Well I can finally come out of the closet – I do not like hummus & probably for all the reasons you stated plus for me, it’s a textural kind of thing. Now call it white bean dip and I could probably change my mind, especially for one as pretty as this.

    • Yay!!! My white bean dips are so soft and smooth! Plus, you can play with white bean dips so much more than hummus, since hummus has a fairly strict ingredient list! Another one I make in the summer, is simply white beans, garlic, a little fresh rosemary, and of course olive oil. fabulous.

  7. Oh I do love the whole idea behind this! The color is so gorgeous. I am having a gathering at my home next Friday night where this would be just perfect with the appetizers. It would definitely be a unique offering. :-)

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