There’s a good chance you’ll be around lots of friends and family for Easter or Passover celebrations this month, so let’s get you armed and ready with a festive, simple appetizer. Hummus is big these days with the country’s growing embrace of Middle Eastern fare. So why not make your own for guests to enjoy? Substitute traditional chickpeas for roasted carrots to create a deep, sweet, earthy flavor that’s also beautifully hued. I use cumin and mint to play against the flavor of the carrot—Easter’s favorite vegetable—but you can use spices and fresh herbs to take it in any direction you want.
Serve with fresh vegetables and pita chips for a simple, but elegant, starter. Use what’s left as a sandwich spread.
Roasted Carrot Hummus
Servings: Makes about 3 cups
1 pound carrots
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
¼ cup tahini
Juice of one lemon
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chopped mint
¼ to 1/3 cup water
Pita chips or fresh vegetables for serving
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel the carrots and cut into large chunks. Before roasting, add the carrots to a medium saucepan of boiling water and blanch for 5 minutes.
Drain the carrots and place in a mixing bowl. Toss with the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, and spread on a cookie sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the carrots are fork tender and slightly browned. Cool slightly.
Place the carrots in the bowl of a food processor. Add the tahini, lemon juice, cumin and mint. Process for 1 minute. Add the water slowly while continuing to process until you reach the desired consistency. Spoon into a bowl, and top with fresh mint or cilantro.
Maggie Heyn Richardson is a regular 225 contributor. Reach her at hungryforlouisiana.com.