Roasted carrot hummus with pomegranate molasses, mint + kohlrabi dippers

I’m continually on a mission to make basic dishes just a little more interesting. What can I say; I just can’t leave well enough alone. Let’s choose to see it as a gift.

A bean puree, usually hummus, is one of those basics I make every week or so. It’s great to have in the fridge for a quick, nutritious snack or light meal, and makes the perfect protein-rich dip for snack-y foods like crackers, chips, or raw veggie sticks. If you crave crunch like I do, it really helps to eat a high-quality protein such as nut butter, cheese, or hummus with those crunchy snacks. This will slow down your munching, help you feel satisfied before you’ve consumed an entire bag of [insert crunchy food here], and will keep you satiated longer so you’re not craving another snack in an hour. The protein will also help blunt the blood sugar rise that can accompany carb-y snacks like crackers.

I was set on making a simple chickpea hummus one day last week and then, during our morning park walk (am I the only one who gets all their good ideas come while walking the dog? Either that or in the shower, never fails) I remembered a few purple carrots in the fridge that were left over from another recipe. So I put the two together and ta-da: roasted carrot hummus!

I tossed the carrots with olive oil, salt and ground coriander seed before going into the oven (and also threw a couple of garlic cloves in there for good measure). Roasted until tender and caramelized, they infuse the hummus with rich, complex flavors and earthy sweetness. In addition to the usual hummus add-ins of tahini and lemon juice, I also blended in a spoonful of pomegranate molasses. Its sweet-tart edge is the perfect complement to the earthy chickpeas and sweet carrots.

Garnished with fresh mint, toasted pine nuts, a drizzle of good olive oil, and more of that tangy, syrupy pomegranate goodness, and accompanied by crisp kohlrabi slices for dipping, this is my idea of the perfect earthy yet elegant snack, appetizer or hors d’oeuvres. If you want to get fancy, instruct your butler to arrange your kohlrabi slices on a platter, dollop some hummus on each slice and add the garnishes — instant cocktail party food.

If you happen to have leftover hummus, I think its goes without saying that it’s the perfect addition to a veggie pita sandwich or collard wrap for lunch the next day.

Roasted carrot hummus with pomegranate molasses, mint + kohlrabi dippers
Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, vegan 
Makes about 3 cups of hummus

3 medium carrots, peeled and roughly diced
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or about 1-3/4 cups cooked chickpeas)
1/4 cup tahini
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons water
kosher salt

garnishes:
olive oil
pomegranate molasses
toasted pine nuts
thinly sliced fresh mint leaves

2 kohlrabi, peeled and thinly sliced or cut into batons

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a sheet pan with parchment.

Combine carrots, garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons olive oil, a pinch of kosher salt, and ground coriander in a bowl. Toss to coat carrots. Transfer to sheet pan and roast until carrots are tender, 20 to 25 minutes (it’s okay if garlic is not completely tender). Remove from oven and cool. Squeeze garlic cloves from their skins.

In a food processor combine chickpeas, roasted carrots and garlic, tahini, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, and water. Add a pinch of salt. Process until smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Serve hummus garnished with a drizzle of olive oil, pomegranate molasses, pine nuts, and mint, with kohlrabi for dipping.

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