It’s nearing Valentine’s Day and instead of sugar hearts with silly sayings we’ve got a new idea that’s less witty but just as fun: shocking pink hummus, its color naturally made of roasted beets. They impart a taste that’s not too beet-y at all, just a slight sweetness that amps up the creamy savoriness of this hummus. And we’ve paired it with an unlikely partner: kohlrabi. It’s a wintery vegetable we picked up at our local farmer’s market, peeled and cut into relish sticks, which is my favorite way to eat it. It tastes a bit like a broccoli stem, but it’s refreshingly good. We find the taste of some veggies overpower dips (hello, broccoli & cauliflower), but the neutral taste of kohlrabi makes it a great carrier for the hummus. Move over carrots — kohlrabi may be the new carrot stick.
Ahh, Valentine’s Day, celebration of love and heart-shaped things and red roses and cupids. But what about celebrating a more universal love, too? After our latest podcast with rock star celebrity chef Carla Hall, I keep thinking about her words desiring unity and connection through food:
“Food is the one place we allow people to be different. We don’t say to another culture, ‘Why can’t your food be like mine?’ We do that to people everyday: ‘You don’t look like me. Your nose isn’t like mine. Your hair isn’t like mine. Your skin color isn’t like mine. Your sexual orientation isn’t like mine. Your religion isn’t like mine. So I don’t like you’. But I don’t think we do that with food.”
If you remember when I got sappy about reconciliation and unity, you’d be correct in imagining me silently fist pumping at this point in the podcast. I too dream of a long table where people of every status and color can sit, no matter our differences, in friendship and love. Where we can share a meal where each person has contributed, and we can enjoy the uniqueness of each offering. And maybe that’s why I love food so much: because it’s a connector to people, where differences are celebrated instead of feared. Call me crazy, but I what I’d love more than anything someday is to experience the transcendence of differences and fear through the simple, beautiful act of breaking bread together. (And maybe a little heart beet hummus.)
Beets and kohlrabi were local, from our friends Genesis and Eli at Full Hand Farm.
- 2 medium beets
- (2 15-ounce cans chickpeas (3 cups cooked)
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1 lemon (¼ cup lemon juice)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup water (optional)
- 2 kohlrabi
- Fresh cilantro, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash and pat dry the beets, then wrap each separately in aluminum foil. Place in a baking dish and roast for 50 to 60 minutes, until tender when pricked with a fork. Cool to room temperature, then slip off the skins with your fingers and roughly chop the beets (take proper precautions as beet juice stains easily).
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Place chickpeas, 2 cloves garlic, ¼ cup tahini, ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt in the bowl of a food processor, then process until smooth and creamy. If needed, add water a tablespoon at a time to come to the desired consistency.
- Peel the kohlrabi, and chop it into sticks. Roughly chop cilantro leaves.
- Garnish the hummus with cilantro leaves and serve with kohlrabi sticks.