Ma Vie en Rose: Beet Hummus & Sauteed Beet Greens

We’re a hummus-loving family. I make it myself sometimes (so easy), but also find myself buying a fair bit of it. Recently I found edamame hummus at Wegmans, and snapped it up in a hurry for my daughter who can almost literally eat her weight in soybeans. It’s delicious, and that pale spring green is really appealing.

Well it follows (maybe) that if green hummus appeals to the mother whose favorite color is green, then pink hummus ought to appeal mightily to the daughter who, when she was three years old, once woke us in the middle of the night to complain that her walls, she had just realized, were not pink.

Recipe #3: Beet Hummus

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1-2 tsp ground cumin

juice of one lemon

1 tsp harissa paste (or other chili paste, or even a pinch of cayenne pepper)

1/4 c. olive oil

2 small beets

salt & pepper to taste

Get out your food processor or sturdy blender, and throw everything in. Pulse until smooth. (or chunky, if that’s your thing.)

Marvel at how pink now seems to go with everything!

This is a little spicy, which I like, but I was skeptical about the girl-child’s willingness to approach. But that color is so persuasive! She walked right up and demanded to know what it was. Wrinkled her nose a little at the word “beet” next to the word, “hummus,” but agreed to try a tiny bit. She proclaimed it “a little spicy but not too spicy.” Yes!

A nice snack, but to make a meal, serve it with some pita and how about those beet greens you reserved (you did, right?) when you were roasting the roots. Get them out of the fridge now.

Recipe #4: Sauteed Beet Greens with Garlic and Crushed Red Pepper

Turns out beets and Swiss Chard are related veggies, and this makes perfect sense once you taste them. You can prepare beet greens the same way you would chard. I start by trimming the tender leaves from the harder ribs. Tear them into bite-size pieces and chop the ribs similarly.

Remember to wash everything very well!

Now, you could go ahead an sautee now, but there is a good chance that the greens will be very bitter. This may be okay with you, but to mellow that out a bit, I suggest blanching them in boiling water for five minutes first. After that, chop a few cloves of garlic. Or maybe even five cloves of garlic. I like garlic.

Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and a tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste). Add the ribs of the greens first and let them cook for a few minutes before adding the greens.

Sprinkle everything with salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes.

A little green to break up the relentless, if delicious, pink. Some soft pita to tame the still-slightly-bitter green.  A nice, light dinner that riffs on the classic Italian greens presentation and the classic hummus recipe beautifully, satisfyingly, idiosyncratically.

Yes, I just called my dinner “idiosyncratic.” It might be time for a junk food antidote.


Is there a particular color of food that you won’t touch? My dad, for instance, had issues with “brown food.” 

8 thoughts on “Ma Vie en Rose: Beet Hummus & Sauteed Beet Greens

  1. Sharon McGill says:

    Oooh! Hubbie is no fan of beets, but he loves hummus so we will definitely try this one. As for food colors–my mom made black beans all the time when I was a kid and I refused to eat them because black-colored food grossed me out. Now, of course, I love black beans! I was a supremely picky eater as a kid; I didn’t even like pizza for a while because I thought it looked like bloody bread.

  2. Alex says:

    oooooh, yum. Beet hummus also would end up being obnoxiously healthy. I am excited to try this. My six-year-old pink-hater won’t touch it, but the three-year-old (“I like pink and only pink because ballerinas like pink and I am a ballerina fairy princess”) will likely go right for it. Thanks for the idea!

  3. Alex says:

    Oh, and for people who like their hummus all super smooth and Israeli-y, I know a great trick for getting the skins off the chickpeas. Soak first (if not canned), then rinse and drain, then cook in water with a few tbsp sodium bicarb. Stir while sodium bicarb is doing its thing — this will agitate the skins off and you can skim them off the top. Then drain and rinse again.

  4. Charlie says:

    Oh my gosh, so many things to do with beets. This looks amazing–and beet hummus *must* be good.

    It’s not exactly a color, but I have frequently had difficulty with translucent food. There was a period in my life in which I was obligated to eat a lot of onions and cabbage that had been sauteed, and I was not a fan. In fact, it triggered my gag reflex, so I literally had a very hard time getting it down. It actually took me a long time to build myself up to eating sauteed onions, even as an adult–and I still want very little to do with cabbage in general.

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