Aaron Bertelsen’s beetroot hummus

Hummus made entirely from chickpeas is one of the great loves of my life, but even I recognise the need to change things up a little from time to time. This recipe is the answer. Not only do you get a new flavour, the colour is incredible too. A dish of this beetroot hummus looks stunning alongside a plate of raw vegetables and will keep you going while you wait for lunch, ideally with a glass of champagne. Note that this is good made with carrotsas well. My friend Henry Witheridge – another great gardener – recently introduced me to split-pea hummus too. Another exciting addition to the hummus repertoire.

beetroot hummus
Andrew Montgomery

SERVES 4 

PREP TIME 10 minutes, plus cooling 

COOK TIME 45-60 minutes

1 large raw beetroot (about 225g)
3 tbsp olive oil
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp tahini
salt and pepper
raw vegetables, to serve (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Trim the beetroot and root, then cut it into 3cm cubes and wrap them in foil with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Bake for 45-60 minutes until soft. Remove the cubes from the foil and place them in a bowl to cool. 

2. Put the cooled beetroot into a food processor with 1 tablespoon of the oil, the chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic and tahini then process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and pour over the remaining oil. Serve the beetroot hummus with raw vegetables, if desired. 

Growing beetroot

Sow beetroot seed in early spring. Cover the pot with fleece to get the seed moving. The detroit variety, with its rich, deep flavour, retains its top position on my list of favourites. Boltardy is a great choice for growing in pots and lives up to its name, being noticeably slower to bolt than other varieties.

Buy Aaron’s fabulous new book with a 20 per cent discount

Grow Fruit and Vegetables in Pots: Planting Advice and Recipes from Great Dixter will be published by Phaidon Press Ltd on 7 February, price £24.95. To order a copy for £19.95 with free p&p until 2 March call 01603 648155 or go to mailshop.co.uk.