I’ve got another great recipe for wood fired beets that will provide a quick way to prepare a fabulous beet hummus for guests, bring-a-dish parties, or just as a great snack for your own family. Wood fired flavor will come from the gas grill equipped with wood chunks using a two-zone cooking method. The outcome is a full flavor, beautiful beet hummus color to delight all who have the pleasure of partaking in this treat. Just one good size beet will do the trick but I always do an extra to keep around.
Join me at the grill as we make ricotta and smoked beet hummus.
It’s so simple to prepare beets for the grill to roast and smoke. Simply trim the leaf stalks off and wash the beets well under water. Pat dry and then wrap in aluminum foil leaving the upper portion of the foil open to allow the smoke vapor in. That’s it! I like to put my foil wrapped beets on a ¼ sheet pan to make it easy to add and remove from the grill. This will be a two-zone grill set up so while I’ve been preparing the beets, I’ve preheated my grill to medium-high using only ½ the burners and added a smoker box with wood chunks to the side that will be hot. Wait for full temperature and the wood chunks to smoke, and you’re ready to add the beets.
Tasting Notes: It is not necessary to foil wrap the beets but you will need something to put the beets on otherwise you’ll have purple beet juice all over your grill.
Two-Zone Grill Smoking
With the washed fresh beets wrapped in foil, it’s time to let them grill roast as well as smoke. I’ve placed three hardwood chunks in a metal smoker box to add smoke vapor to the beets. My beets are placed on the unlit side of the grill while the smoker box is on the hot side. After about 75 minutes, these are tender and smoky. Remove them from the grill and allow to cool until they can be handled. Using a paper towel, begin peeling the skin from the cooked beets. Using a paper towel will protect your hands from becoming purple from the beet juice, a common problem when working with beets.
Tasting Notes: I’ve elected to use wood chunks as I find the provide for greater smoke vapor and don’t require any additional wood to be added to the smoker box. You certainly can use wood chips but note, you may need to replenish these during cooking.
A Bright and Flavorful Hummus
With the beet grilled and smoked, it’s time to add the ingredients for our hummus. Start by adding one 15–1/2 ounce can of chickpeas that have been rinsed and drained to a food processor bowl. Then add 1/3 cup of well mixed tahini, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, ¼ cup ricotta, 1 garlic clove finely grated, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper, and ¼ teaspoon ground coriander to a food processor and process until smooth. Remember, the smoked beet will add a sweet flavor so adjust seasonings after that step.
With the other ingredients processed for the beet hummus it’s time to bring in the wood fired beet flavor. Cut one smoked beet into 8 pieces and add to the processor bowl and process until well combined and smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Transfer the hummus to a serving dish, sprinkle with fresh mint and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with your choice of sides — vegetables, pita wedges, won-ton chips, crostini, crackers — whatever fits your need. This is easy to keep on hand for when you need a quick cocktail accompaniment or just want a great, healthy snack. You’ll love the festiveness of the bright purple-pink hue which makes this a stand out dish.
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