intuitive cooking, sensible eating.


Beet & Honeycrisp Apple Hummus, Pink Love for Gray Days

I am doing a catering job for a friend of my Mom’s book group.  They are reading a book called The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball.  I was going to make some recipes from the book, but I could not get a hold of a copy.  Since Anne liked what I made for the Midtown Gallery opening for my Mom’s featured show at Art Hop last Friday, I decided to make one of them again, and some other things made with as much local produce as I could get.

Today is my birthday, and a day off, AND (lucky me) the farmer’s market is open!  I went for a run, biked a little, lifted some weights, and then went to the market.  I bought produce from several of the vendors – eggplants, late season tomatoes, zucchini, beets, sweet potatoes… and then I looked down to the back corner where there was a stand full of things, but set farther away from everyone else.  I headed over towards the apples I could see, and decided to get some Honeycrisps there.  I started talking to the two guys there – elderly men who looked like they have worked Very Hard.  One man was pretty stooped over, and I noticed he had a metal hook for a hand.  He was so friendly, and was trying so hard to sell me other things.  The other man said his name was William, and he was sort of super overly friendly, and kind of a close talker.  I told him it was my birthday, mostly because I was at a loss to respond to his telling me that things were not going all that well for them at the market (not many people – a cloudy, threatening to be a rainy day day).   He told me I should go to Finley’s where they give you a nice lookin’ steak complete with mashed potatoes, bread, and a drink for free on your birthday.  Maybe he’s right.  I walked away with some unplanned cider, and well wishes.  Sometimes things make me happy and sad all at once.  I guess that’s what it means to be human.

I got home and set to work.  First I roasted the eggplants along with some red peppers and tomatoes I had.  I also roasted the zucchini, some garlic, and onion.  They were just tossed with lots of olive oil, salt and pepper, and some good balsamic vinegar.  When they were done, I mixed everything together, added some nice extra virgin olive oil I got – some really tasty stuff – added some chopped parsley, capers, lemon juice, and some more salt and pepper.  I wanted to make this since I could prepare it advance, and it is supposed to sit around for a few days before you eat it, to let the flavors develop.  The food is intended for Sunday, so it will have a few days to improve.

I also made the hummus in advance for the same reason.  I want the flavors to really get married and all awesome.  This was SO fun to make.  I looked up a couple of recipes online, and then I saw the apples on the counter.  I had left them in the plastic bag, and I was not sure what I was going to do with them.  I decided it would probably be a great idea to put a few in the hummus.  I think I will have to tell William and his friend about this later – show them a photo.  I think they’d get a kick out of it.


Beet & Honeycrisp Apple Hummus

This is for a double batch

  • 2 – 14 oz cans of garbanzo beans (or prepare them yourself if you like from dried beans)
  • 5-6 small/medium beets, roasted, skinned & choooed
  • 2 honeycrisp apples, skinned, cored & chopped up
  • 3 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 – 5 tbsp tahini
  • juice and zest from a lemon or two
  • Salt to taste, but definitely at least 1 tsp (I used French sea salt and a little pink Himalayan)
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Olive oil to toss beets in for roasting
  1. Preheat oven to 425, and place beets with stems chopped short, and the bottom of the root looped off for easy wrapping up.  Place them on double layer of aluminum foil, and make a little bowl so that when you pour the oil in for coating the beets.  Toss them with some salt and pepper, too, for good measure, and encase them well in the foil.  If you want to be super careful, you can place a sheet pan under them so in case juice leaks, it will not burn on the bottom of your stove and smell really bad.  Roast for about 20-30 minutes – it depends on the size of your beets, so feel free to open up the package and stab a fork into them to see how they are coming along.  When a fork goes in easily, like a cooked potato, remove from the oven and allow to cool before peeling, but don’t wait too long, because it is easier to peel them if they are slightly warm.
  2. Next, chop up the beets, chop up the apples, and mince the garlic.
  3. Put everything into a food processor and let it run until smooth.  You could chunk up some apples or beets and leave  out to add in at the end if you wanted it to be all crazy and chunk or something, but that might be kind of weird.  Let me know if anyone tries that.
While I was writing this entry, the doorbell rang, and my friend and fellow savory cook, Meaghan, stopped by to say hello.  I let her try some of the food I made, and she said that everyone will love it.  It made me so happy to get to share food I cooked with someone on my birthday.  Lately I have been making her sandwiches, and a couple of days ago I made six burritos for people at work.  It feels so nice to make food for people I know, and that it will be fuel for the work that we all do together.  There is something beautiful about that.  Five days a week I spend most of my waking hours enjoying the company of these people more than I ever realised I could.  I truly feel loved, and I laugh harder than I have in years most of the time.  Today, though, I spent the day quietly – cooking, listening to music, listening to silence, listening to my heart, and wondering about year 26.  Using my day to work for myself doing what I love seems like a pretty promising beginning.
I recently quit Facebook, and so I am having a non-Facebook reminder/news feed oriented attention swarm of well wishes.  It feels better, because I am a big loner, and I have always felt strange that people I never speak to acknowledge my existence for a moment.  That’s fine, but it was nice to see who can remember with their brain, and then wants to let me know they’re glad I am here.  I’m glad I’m here too, and I hope that I will get to make food with the rest of you far off people before too long.  I think that this is that happy and sad at the same time thing again.

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