This Friday, May 13, is National Hummus Day. That’s right, since 2012, this popular and tasty spread made of chickpeas, lemon, garlic and tahini (sesame paste) has been nationally celebrated with its very own food day.
Although hummus may not have long roots here – after all, it gained popularity only in the past 20 years or so – it dates as far back as the 13th century.
There is a known recipe documented in an early cookbook from Cairo, Egypt, and although it does not exactly resemble what we know today as hummus, it was a cold chickpea puree containing herbs, oil, lemon and vinegar, but without garlic or tahini.
The origin of hummus is as heated of a debate as that of baklava. This is believed to be since Greek and Middle Eastern traders would have shared popular and common dishes.
This would have made it difficult to pinpoint where hummus originated, and, believe me, I’ve scoured the internet, and this is as far as I’ve gotten. I think we can all agree, wherever it started, we’re just glad it exists.
Americans have become fond of hummus. It’s a delicious and healthy dish that is easily accessible and a great protein alternative. Hummus is said to be in more than one-quarter of American households.
It can be found in most grocery and convenience stores and comes flavored with different ingredients. Did you know there’s even sweet “dessert” versions? Well, I’ve tried it, and it wasn’t bad, but I think I’ll be sticking to the savory versions.
Today’s recipe is for a savory version of my own. It’s a different take on the chickpea spread as I am roasting carrots and combining them with the chickpea puree. This adds a touch of sweetness and a nice and mellow carrot flavor, making it a wonderful spring dish.
Like traditional hummus, I enjoy this with flatbreads or pita, crackers, veggies or as a nutrient dense spread on a sandwich, replacing mayonnaise or other condiments. This recipe also easily swaps out beets or parsnips for the carrots for another fun take on the classic.
Whichever way you decide to make it, I hope you find that this is an easy way to make your own hummus, and it allows you to customize it to your own flavors and tastes.
Roasted Carrot Hummus
1½ to 2 cups roasted carrots (about 3 medium carrots), cut into smaller pieces
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained with liquid reserved
¼ cup tahini
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¾ teaspoon pepper, freshly cracked
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon turmeric
To roast the carrots:
Preheat an oven to 425 degrees. Clean, rinse, peel and dry the carrots. Cut into 1-inch-by-2-inch sections.
To roast, toss the carrots in a couple tablespoons of olive oil.
Sprinkle and toss the carrots with a teaspoon of kosher salt and a ½ teaspoon of black pepper, and scatter onto a lightly oiled sheet pan.
Place it in the preheated oven and roast for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven when they begin to lightly brown and char on the edges.
Let cool until room temperature.
To make the hummus:
Combine all the ingredients, including the roasted and cooled carrots, in a food processor.
Blend the ingredients until completely smooth, about 60-90 seconds, making sure to stop the processor a couple times throughout to scrape down the sides and redistribute the mixture.
Taste the humus and adjust seasoning as needed.
If it is too thick, add some of the reserved chickpea liquid a little bit at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.
Refrigerate the hummus until chilled. During this time, the flavors will meld, and the hummus will thicken a bit.
Serve with pita, chips, toasted bread and/or veggies.
Yield: 4 to 8 servings as a snack or appetizer.
Local award-winning chef Ricky Webster, owner of Rind and Wheat and the new Morsel, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Webster on Instagram @rickycaker.
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