Snack Series: Roasted Carrot Hummus

Hummus is one of those things that seems as though it was instinctual, like guacamole; fresh, local ingredients, smashed together and eaten with gusto. Much like guacamole—one of the oldest prepared dishes in the Americas—hummus has a long history. Recorded accounts of its existence stretch back to 13th-century Egyptian cook books. Thankfully, hummus has survived the test of time and crossed borders to become one of the most loved snacks to date.

Today, walk into any major grocery store and you will be bombarded with multiple big-name hummus brands competing for your dollar. They come in many sizes, from family-ready tubs to individual snack packs, topped with everything from olives to nuts.

One of the best attributes of hummus is its role as a snack. It is packed with protein from both chickpeas and tahini, and it is full of good fats from olive oil and sesame. And it is satisfying, from its inherent umami flavour and filling nature.

This week, instead of grabbing a factory-made to-go pack, make your own, infused with roasted carrots and topped with decadent, jewel-like pomegranate seeds. It is surprisingly simple to make, and when packed in individual servings it can last up to a week in the fridge.

One step in the recipe may seem a bit decadent and over-the-top: peeling the chickpeas. No, it is not absolutely inherent to the recipe, but if you do have the time and patience, it is highly encouraged that you try. It makes for an incredibly smooth product and the leftover chickpea skins can be crisped up to make a delightfully crunchy topping.

(Makes approximately 9 snack-sized portions)

Ingredients

5 carrots with stems

5 cloves of garlic, peeled

½ cup and 1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 ½ teaspoons of salt

1 540 ml can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

¼ cup of tahini

3 tablespoons of lemon juice

2 tablespoons of water (if needed)

½ cup of pomegranate arils

Method

Preheat oven to 350F.

Line an ovenproof baking dish with parchment.

Remove the tops from the carrots and save one small handful and rinse well.

Peel the carrots and cut each carrot into large chunks.

Place the carrot pieces and peeled garlic in the baking dish and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Roast for approximately 20 minutes, or until carrots and garlic are softened.

Meanwhile, prepare the remainder of the ingredients. Again, it is not an absolutely necessary step, but if you have the time and the patience, peeling the chickpeas will render a smoother hummus. As a bonus, you can roast the skins to create a crispy garnish for your hummus — that is, if you don’t eat them all first!

Peeling chickpeas is actually quite easy; it just takes a bit of patience. Simply place a single chickpea between your thumb and forefinger and gently pinch. The skin will slide off easily.

Once the carrots and garlic are softened, remove them from the baking dish and allow to cool slightly.

If you are roasting the chickpea skins, toss them right into the dish that was used to roast the carrots and garlic. Smear them around in the remaining oil — which will now be nicely fragrant – and return the dish to the oven and allow to roast at 350F for another 10-12 minutes, tossing half way through, until crisp.

To prepare the hummus, in a food processor combine the carrots, garlic, chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and remaining salt. Blend in the food processor on high for several minutes, until smooth. If the hummus is a bit tight, add the water and pulse until smooth.

Divide the hummus in re-sealable containers. You can spoon it in, but if you are feeling fancy, use a piping bag to gently pipe the hummus into the containers. Garnish with the saved carrot greens, pomegranate arils, and if you made them, roasted chickpea skins.

Enjoy with your favorite crackers, chips, pita, or veggies.