Kamis, 28 Februari 2008

Beetroot Princess's Delicious Beetroot Houmus

In early January I got an e-mail from one of the editors of Oma Maitse, the biggest-selling Estonian food magazine, asking me if they could visit me and write an article for their February issue about my food-centred life they've been following through my blog and Estonian-language site. I spoke with K, and considering that we were just about to re-launch the Estonian site, we thought a little extra publicity cannot be bad, so one Thursday afternoon the journalist Katrin Kurss and the photographer Ülle Viska popped by for a few hours chatting, eating and photoshooting with me and K. We served them a range of our favourite light dishes - eight in total - that were all pictured in the February issue, though they only had space for five of the recipes. The resulting article was called "Peediprintsessi moodsad palad" or "Beetroot Princess's Modern Bites" and the five-page spread was accompanied by a full-page photo of moi :)

The menu was following:
Molly's bouchons au thon (adapted over the last year, when I've made them on a monthly basis; recipe provided)
My small beetroot & blue cheese tartlets (recipe provided)
Beetroot houmus (recipe provided)
My kama and mascarpone 'truffles' (recipe provided)
K's beautiful cannéles (recipe provided)
My simple matcha tea loaf (served with K's mum's cloudberry compote - seen on the photo above)
My sea-buckthorn sorbet, using berries from my grandmother's garden
Piña Colada Espuma, just for that little bit of fun

Here's a recipe for the beetroot houmus. If you love beets, you'll adore this. If you like chickpeas and houmus, you'll love this. And if you fancy both, you'll be in seventh heaven. Excellent as a dip with vegetable sticks, or as a spread on some lightly toasted dark rye bread. And just look at that amazing colour!!

Beetroot Houmus
Serves 6-8 as a dip

2 to medium sized beets, cooked or roasted
a 400 g can of cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3-4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
about 2 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
0.5 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper

Toast the cumin seeds on a dry pan for a few moments to release the aromas, then crush in a pestle and mortar.
Peel the beetroot and cut into smaller chunks.
Rinse and drain the chickpeas.
Puree the beets and chickpeas in a food processor (I used the grinder attachment of my KitchenAid Mixer).
Add minced garlic, cumin seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. If the mixture is too thick, then add some boiled water to lighten it. Taste for seasoning again and serve.

PS! The garlic flavour intensifies a lot when the houmus is allowed to stand for a while, so we wouldn't recommend more than these 1-2 cloves.