With all the beets I cook and the recent success of my new watering plan to beat the Kaimuki summer heat, I figured it was about time to start growing my own. Thus far, it is has just been too hot and not wet enough for seedlings to make it through the first few days when they are still so tender. As a result, I have been forced to only grow things that can be started in seedling trays in the shade and then transferred to the ground when they are strong enough to survive the sun. That meant no beets or other root vegetables which, given that they are some of my favorite ingredients, made me pretty darn sad. With a bit of thinking, a few different sprinkler tests, and a lot of work improving the soil and drainage in my garden, I finally seem to be able to grow from seed!
It is so wonderful to have vegetables and greens other than chard to eat. Up until now, chard was the only thing I could find to really thrive. Everything else would grow but it was really limping along and not producing much. Not the chard! That grows like a weed and seems to love abuse and neglect. This makes it a great green for beginners to grow. Just be warned, you can get sick of it after a while. If you find yourself overwhelmed, check out some of these recipes for chard that I worked on while waiting for everything else to grow – swiss chard pesto, chard breakfast hash with sweet potatoes, squash and chard soup.My tiny beets are only a couple days old but they have already survived the critical point where all previous attempts died out. Hopefully I can have a big enough crop to support my beet habit while the next ones grow! If not, back to my trusty farmers market suppliers. In my excitement, I have been making even more beet recipes than usual. This on is a quick favorite. It is rich and earthy and crazy easy to throw together. The beets give a depth of flavor that is a nice compliment to the sesame. You can use tahini instead of the sesame oil for a creamier effect. I use sesame oil because it is a much more common ingredient in people’s pantries.
Roasted Beet Hummus
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 small beet, roasted and peeled
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Parsley, for serving
- Combine chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, and sesame oil in food processor; pulse until combined
- With the food processor running, slowly add olive oil; process until smooth
- Roughly chop beet; add to food processor; pulse until smooth
- Season with salt
- Serve topped with parsley and a drizzle of olive oil