One of the benefits of living in Metro Detroit is the amazing Middle Eastern cuisine. Dearborn, Michigan is home to a large Middle Eastern population, and thus, an amazing selection of Middle Eastern restaurants. It’s no wonder that when Anthony Bourdain visited Detroit to film No Reservations, Al-Ameer restaurant in Dearborn (one of my family’s favorites) was featured in his segment. The food is good. The hummus? Incomparable. Actually, it is comparable – but only if you’re comparing it to any of the other great Middle Eastern restaurants in the area. Otherwise, good luck finding anything to live up to it.
For this reason, I’ve been highly reluctant to post any of my homemade hummus recipes on Delectably Free. Sure, I make homemade hummus from time to time. It’s good. Not always great. But it works in a pinch when I need something to dip my gluten-free crackers in or to dollop on salads. But for the most part, I tend to not make hummus, because I know I can venture not too far from my neighborhood to find the best hummus you can get outside of the Middle East. I lived in New York City for 4 years, and even there, I never had hummus so good. It’s probably an understatement to say that when it comes to hummus, I have high standards and am a bit spoiled.
But let’s face it. A vegan blog without a hummus recipe? Kind of a sham. Am I right? So in the spirit of my Chickpea Paprikash, I decided to be inspired by a classic rather than attempt to recreate it entirely. This is not a “classic” hummus, but rather a twist on a classic, with a flavor of its own. It’s a little sweet from the carrots, a bit smoky from the cumin and smoked paprika, and the use of white beans gives this a unique flavor and texture that is just a bit different from the hummus you might be used to.
So from now on, when I’m craving authentic Middle Eastern Hummus, I’m driving to the nearest Middle Eastern restaurant to get some. But when I’m craving something similar but perhaps a bit healthier – something spreadable to put on sandwiches and to dip veggies in – I’ll make this.
Roasted Carrot White Bean Hummus:
Makes a few cups (sorry, I forgot to write down exact yield)
- 4 medium-sized carrots, peeled and roughly chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
- 1 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup sesame tahini
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- Some water for thinning, if desired (I didn’t use any additional water)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss carrots and garlic with olive oil and lay flat on a parchment-lined baking sheet or in a medium-sized ceramic baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until carrots are fork tender. Set aside to cool.
- Add remaining ingredients to a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pour in cooled carrots with garlic and any remaining olive oil. Process until smooth or until desired texture is reached. Taste for salt and add more salt to taste. Add some water, about a tablespoon at a time, if necessary, until desired consistency is reached.