Even Hummus Enjoys a Makeover

Even Hummus Enjoys a Makeover
Orange sweet potato ramps up both the color and nutrition of hummus, while adding a sweet, nutty note. (Lynda Balslev for Tastefood)

In the contrarian spirit of fixing something when it is not broken, this recipe gives the ever-popular hummus a makeover. Hummus is a creamy Levantine dip consisting of pureed chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, and lemon. It's agreeably mild-mannered and versatile and a go-to for dips, spreads, and snacks.

Hummus is also wonderfully accommodating to embellishment and bling, such as the addition of pureed root vegetables and tubers, including beets and carrots—or in this case, sweet potatoes. These extra ingredients add oomph to the flavor and an infusion of color to the undeniably beige hummus, painting it in shades of fuchsia, ochre, and green, depending on the accessory, thus transforming the ubiquitous spread into a vibrant flavor- and nutrient-packed dip that begs for a good swipe.

This hummus is indeed a looker. Orange sweet potato ramps up its color and lends a sweet, nutty note to the chickpea blend. You can steam the sweet potato to soften it; however, roasting is preferable, because it will coax out the natural sugars in the root vegetable and add little nicks of char and caramel to the dip. Since the potato is naturally sweet, fresh lime juice and a generous sprinkle of seasoning and salt serve to balance the flavor. Taste the dip as you make it, and feel free to tinker to your preference. Serve the hummus with a kaleidoscope of crudités, pita wedges, and chips for dipping.

Sweet Potato Hummus

Active time: 10 minutes Total time: 40 to 50 minutes
Makes about 2 cups
  • 2 sweet potatoes (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Halve the potatoes lengthwise. Brush the cut sides with oil. Place the sweet potatoes, cut sides down, in a baking dish or on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Roast until soft, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove and cool to the touch, then peel away and discard the skin.

Place the sweet potato and the remaining hummus ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. If too thick, add warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve your desired consistency. Taste for seasoning.

Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl. Drizzle a little olive oil over and garnish with chopped fresh herbs, such as cilantro or mint, and chopped pistachios. Serve with pita bread and crudités.

Lynda Balslev is a cookbook author, food and travel writer, and recipe developer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives with her Danish husband, two children, a cat, and a dog. Balslev studied cooking at Le Cordon Bleu Ecole de Cuisine in Paris and worked as a personal chef, culinary instructor, and food writer in Switzerland and Denmark. Copyright 2021 Lynda Balslev. Distributed by Andrews McMeel Syndication.