Roasted Carrot Hummus

Being somewhat home-bound these last few weeks because of an ankle sprain has been little fun. It’s also (mostly) kept me off my feet in the kitchen for long stretches of time with the exception of a private birthday dinner I had the pleasure of cooking for a client ( a meal 2 months in the making). That was going to happen regardless of this sprain or not. Thankfully, it did happen and  it was delicious and successful.

So for this week I got to thinking about what I could share on the blog that wouldn’t require my standing for prolonged periods of time. For inspiration, I dove into Instagram to see what other were doing with local, seasonal produce. It was there I saw the James Beard Foundation asking for people to share images of what they do with their food scraps, to help raise awareness and conversations around food waste.

I’ve never actually made carrot hummus before but I did recently learn (from Chef Sara Jenkins) of a delicious way to use up carrot tops which is to fry them. I’m beginning to think that the “everything is better fried” adage has a lot of truth to it.
The other thing I thought about were the carrot skins and how it shouldn’t make a difference once they’re roasted and blended up as to whether the skin is on or not. Verdict: doesn’t make a shred of difference.
It felt really good to not have a mound of food bits and pieces next to me, ready for disposal. We don’t compost here in our NYC home  (maybe one day we’ll be more adventurous) and it doesn’t feel 100% when I’m preparing a big meal and half the garbage can is full of produce ends, stems, and skins. Sometimes I can salvage some of that waste for making stock but more often than not, it just gets taken out at the end of the night.

Warning about the fried carrot tops: they are ridiculously addictive. You probably wouldn’t think so, but they’re these fresh green lightweight “chips” that are impossible to stop eating. What you see in the photo is probably a quarter or what I made. And yes, I ate them all.

One of this recipe’s most winning attributes is that it’s so easy to pull together. It’s hearty in flavor but light in texture and is a delicious twist on (what’s a staple) in our home. Also, if you know me you know I like to eat with the seasons and I love a dish that can live across them all.

Roasted Carrot Hummus
Ingredients
Hummus:
  • 1 lb. carrots
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ cup cooked chickpeas
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • ½ cup tahina
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (edit to taste)
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt (edit to taste)
  • 3-4 Tbsp cold water
Fried Carrot Tops:
  • Reserved carrot tops, thicker stems pulled off
  • ¼ cup of vegetable oil
  • Sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F
  2. Prepare the carrots to roast by cutting them into 1-inch chunks (you can totally keep those skins on!) and reserve the carrots tops for frying later. Toss with olive oil and place on a parchment paper lined tray into the oven. Roast for 15 minutes and then turn the carrots. Roast for another 10-15 min or until carrots are fully cooked but not burned. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. If you're using canned chickpeas make sure they're rinsed and drained. Add chickpeas and carrots to food processor and process until it's at a coarse consistency. Add the garlic, tahina, lemon juice, and spices and keep the machine running until it's well combined. Slowly drizzle in the water (while it's running) until your hummus reaches the desired consistency.
  4. Transfer the hummus to a bowl, cover, and set aside for at least a half hour. If not eating right away, wait till it cools and then leave it covered in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  5. When you're ready to serve hummus, wash and fully dry your carrot tops. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan to about 350°F. Only fry 1-2 pieces together at a time so they don't clump together. They will crisp up very quickly, about 30 seconds or when the bubbling dies down. Take them out and lay them on a paper towel to drain. Lightly sprinkle sea salt over the pieces as they come out of the oil.
  6. Use the fried tops to garnish the hummus along with any other seasonings and oils you'd like! I used a chili olive oil and sumac along with the carrot tops on mine. Dip away!