Dragonfly Home Recipes

Recipes, Photography, Musings

Month: July 2014 (page 1 of 2)

Bright Beetroot Hummus and Basic Hummus

basic hummusbeetroot hummus in bowl 1Hummus has become one of the staple foods in my family lately.  It’s easy to make, easy to pack for picnics or the beach, and a healthy, protein-packed addition to crackers and chips.  I usually make a basic hummus with chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt.  But I have been hearing a lot about beets lately. Beetroots are a rich source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium, magnesium, and iron. (Beet greens are full of nutrients too, but that is a topic for another post.)

beetsSince we are growing beets in our garden, and I love beets, I decided to try adding simmered beetroot to my basic hummus recipe.  If you love color like I do, just seeing the color of this beetroot hummus makes it worth the effort.  It becomes a rich, deep, bright pink.  Plus, the beetroot adds extra nutrition and a bit of a sweet taste to the hummus.  My husband, daughter and I loved it!  My son would not even try it, since he is not a fan of beets, and that is okay too.  The beetroot variation is not for everyone, so I have posted recipes below for both that and the basic hummus.  Of course there are lots of other variations for hummus.  That is what makes experimenting with it so much fun.  And in the summer, it’s nice not to have to spend too much time with the stove top and oven heating up the kitchen, so hummus is a great option.  In fact, I just took hummus to a picnic yesterday evening.  It was so nice to visit with friends while the kids all played in the lake.  Eating outdoors with friends and family is one of the best parts of summer.  chickpeasbeetroot hummus on crackers

Recipe for Bright Beetroot Hummus

Bright Beetroot Hummus

  • Servings: 4-6
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Ingredients:

  • 2 small/medium fresh beets
  • 1 can chickpeas (garbonzo beans)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablesoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1/8 cup of water, or more as needed
  • salt to taste

Directions:

Cut or tear the greens from the beetroots, leaving about 2 inches of the stem on the root.  Scrub the beets in cold water to get all the dirt off.  Do not peel or cut the beets until after they have been cooked–that way they will keep their color and nutrients better.  Simmer the fresh beets whole and unpeeled in an uncovered pan for about 20 minutes, until they are tender (but not mushy) when pierced with a fork.  Then refresh beets under cold water, gently rubbing them to peel off their skin.  Let them cool.

While the beets are simmering, drain and rinse the chickpeas and reserve some of the liquid.  In a food processor or blender, blend the chickpeas and minced garlic.  Add the olive oil one tablespoon at a time, stopping the blender and scraping the sides between adding.  Add the tahini, lemon juice, water, and enough of the chickpea liquid until the mixture reaches a thick, smooth texture.  You may need to stop and start the blender several times, scraping the sides and stirring the mixture while the blender is stopped.  Chop the cooked beets, and add about 2 to 4 tablespoons (depending on how much of a beet flavor and color you want) of the chopped beets to the hummus mixture in blender.  Blend again until the beets are smooth and fully mixed into the hummus.  Add salt to taste.  Spoon the beetroot hummus into a bowl, and serve with crackers, pita bread, or chips.  Enjoy!

Recipe for Basic Hummus

Basic Hummus

  • Servings: 4-6
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Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas (also called garbonzo beans)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup water
  • 3 Tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
  • salt to taste

Directions:

Drain and rinse the chickpeas and reserve some of the chickpea liquid.  In a food processor or blender, blend the chickpeas and minced garlic.  Add the olive oil one tablespoon at a time, blending and scraping the sides between adding.  Add the tahini, lemon juice, water, and enough of the chickpea liquid until the mixture reaches a thick, smooth texture.  Add more water if desired.  Add salt to taste.  You may need to stop and start the blender several  times, scraping the sides and stirring the mixture while the blender is stopped.  Spoon the hummus into a bowl and serve with crackers, pita bread, chips, or sliced vegetables.  Enjoy!

Fragrant Basil-Parsley Pesto

basil plant A reward of weeding around basil plants is that you get to smell the fresh, spicy scent of the basil leaves while you are weeding.  At least that is what I was thinking as I was weeding and shooing away mosquitoes yesterday.  And one of the best rewards of growing basil is making and eating pesto.  Not only does basil smell wonderful, but it tastes great, especially when mixed with garlic, nuts, and Parmesan cheese.  The pesto recipe I posted below calls for both basil and parsley, bright green herbs with lots of health benefits.  According to www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266425.php, basil is full of antioxidants, minerals such as magnesium, and vitamins, mainly vitamin A, vitamin K, and vitamin C.  Basil also is known to reduce inflammation and to have antibacterial properties.  Parsley is very beneficial to eat as well.  The website www.nutrition-and-you.com/parsley.html states that parsley is high in minerals like potassium and calcium, and like basil, it has high concentrations of vitamins A, C, and especially K.

pesto in blender Pesto is a great way to get those vitamins and minerals, and it offers variety.  You can mix pesto with pasta for a meal, or you can spread it on crackers for a delicious snack.  The nuts in the pesto add to its nutritional quality too–they add protein and the “good” (unsaturated) fats.  I usually use almonds, but pine nuts are a traditional nut to use, and I have also used walnuts too.  Now that basil is in full swing here, we will be using our blender to mix up batches of pesto!  Pesto freezes well, but to me it tastes best the day it is made.  If you know ahead of time that you are going to freeze it, a fellow food blogger gave me this tip to reduce bitterness when freezing:  Leave out the cheese when you are processing the rest of the ingredients, and freeze the pesto without the cheese.  Then when you defrost/thaw the pesto, add the cheese.

Happy summer eating!       pesto in bowlpesto on cracker

Recipe for Basil-Parsley Pesto

Basil-Parsley Pesto

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed parsley sprigs (either flat or curly parsley) with stems removed
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup almonds, walnuts, or pine nuts
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

In a blender container or food processor bowl, combine the basil leaves, parsley, Parmesan cheese, nuts, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Cover and blend or process with several on/off turns, until a paste forms.  When the machine is off, scrape the sides and stir the ingredients before starting again.  Then gradually add the olive oil and keep processing and scraping the sides in between processing, until you reach a smooth consistency.  (It doesn’t have to be completely smooth, but enough so that it is like a sauce or dip).

This amount of pesto can be tossed with 12 ounces of cooked pasta to feed about 4 people, or you can divide it up and use some for a dip or spread.  Store in the refrigerate for 3 to 5 days, or freeze in airtight containers.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

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