Some of the very best ideas for preparing fruits and vegetables come from talking to the folks behind the food: the farmers themselves. And why not? These people know their produce better than anyone and are likely up to their ears in whatever they’re growing. Leave it up to the green thumbs to figure out the best way to cook it.

Today’s recipe, for example, was inspired by a jar of beet “hummus” procured last August from a small farmer (he wasn’t small, but his farm was) at the Half Moon Bay Farmer’s Market. It made a dynamite little canapé for a summer barbecue when spread on chilled cucumber slices then topped with a dot of fresh goat cheese. Light and flavorful, the hummus was an across-the-board hit with grown ups as well as kids (who seemed a little dazzled by its vibrant color).

I’d forgotten about the beet hummus until a few weeks ago when I was asked to bring an appetizer for a potluck party. I decided to try my hand at mimicking what I’d bought from the farmer. This recipe, a combination of cooked beets, roasted almonds, a hint of garlic, and plenty of lemon juice, is a pretty close, and very tasty approximation. Plus, it’s light enough so that it won’t spoil pre-dinner appetites. The colorful mixture can also double as a savory dip along with whole grain pita chips or as a spread for sandwiches.
You begin by scrubbing and then boiling the beets in plenty of water until very tender. Once cooked and cool enough to handle, you can easily slip off the outside skins with your fingers. Watch as your fingers go pink under the touch of a beet with its bright, antioxidant-rich juices; be careful not to stain your clothing.

If you want a short cut, the pre-cooked beets sold in vacuum sealed pouches in the produce section of some markets, including Trader Joe’s, aren’t a bad way to go. The size of the beets in those packages vary, so do your best to figure out the equivalent to three large beets.

The recipe uses only the colorful root of the vegetable, but don’t toss out those beet greens. Wash thoroughly, chop roughly (stems and all), run them through a salad spinner, and keep in a sealed bag in the fridge. You’ll have healthy greens at the ready to add to soups, pastas, sautés, stews, and even juices and smoothies, over the next couple of days. They are nourishing too and would be a shame to discard.



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  1. 04.30.2012 at 7:17 AM #

    Fantastic recipe! For sure I will give it a try and will share this recipe!

  2. Pamela
    04.30.2012 at 7:25 AM #

    Beautiful indeed! Thanks for this, can’t wait to try it!

    • 05.23.2012 at 3:39 AM #

      I love the look of this salad being a beet fan, I would be in heaven eantig it. I also love raspberry vinaigrette and well, Brie, is out-of-this-world too. It’s always good to come here and see a new recipe. I hope that you’ll be doing more cooking since fall is here and hopefully, your temperatures will be dropping!I hope the air quality there is improving too.

  3. 04.30.2012 at 1:04 PM #

    Nice … I’ll try this … I would add some onion slices … Olive oil calls for a couple of slices of red onion :)

    • katiemorford
      04.30.2012 at 2:40 PM #

      Onion slies would make a pretty addition as well. Thanks for that.

  4. 04.30.2012 at 1:29 PM #

    Lovely recipe, Katie. Mine is a bit similar but I take a more Lebanese slant with pomegranate molasses and a pinch of cumin and cinnamon, served with homemade wholewheat pitta chips. Love the cucumber idea – nice and ‘contrasty’

    • katiemorford
      04.30.2012 at 2:39 PM #

      Thanks Kellie. I’m crazy for pomegranate molasses so will try it your way next time.

  5. Meegan
    05.03.2012 at 6:37 PM #


    I just whipped this stuff up with some gorgeous beets from our CSA box. DELISH. One of the prettiest, most nutrition-packed things I think I’ve ever made. And the best part, our suddenly-picky 17-month-old Camille was licking it off my fingers!
    Wonderful, thanks!!!!

    • katiemorford
      05.03.2012 at 7:44 PM #

      Camille with beet-juice stained cheeks sounds pretty cute!

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  1. FoodPlay Productions - FoodPlay Friday: Red & Green - 04.15.2015

    […] red in Prevention RD‘s Penne in Roasted Beet Sauce and Mom’s Kitchen Handbook‘s Beautiful Beet Hummus. And for dessert, don’t miss these Homemade Strawberry Creamsicles from Super Healthy […]

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