It’s amazing to me how ubiquitous hummus has become in the last 10 years. I remember making it from scratch as a child to be served to guests when they’d come over (alongside this delicious, buttery, puff pastry-encased, baked brie…), and then all of a sudden it was in every super market…everywhere. A cultural explosion of sorts with every variation you could ask for: roasted garlic, salsa-infused, greek olive, or roasted red pepper…Nowadays, it’s been further gourmet-ified, and I’ve seen chickpeas substituted with everything from avocado to squash.
I love the freshness and flavor that comes from the farmers’ market – thus my version of hummus uses seasonal celery root, a fantastic Fall, root vegetable. It looks pretty scary but, once you get passed peeling it, it cooks up quickly and easily to delicious results.
I adore basic hummus, but sometimes it just sits like a weight in my stomach. It can be really heavy at times, so I decided to forgo chickpeas altogether, which actually resulted in the lightest, fluffiest hummus I’ve ever eaten. The celery root provides a gently sweet, tangy, celery-like flavor that blends seamlessly with the sesame tahini, garlic, and lemon juice. The cumin and cayenne give it smokiness and kick, and the result is a beautiful incarnation of hummus that was incredible slathered on a bit of pita. Enjoy!
2 1/2 cups
baseball sized celery roots, peeled and cut into a 3/4” dice (approximately 3 ½ cups)
Place celery root dice in a stock pot and cover with cold water. Bring up to a boil uncovered and boil 13-15 minutes until the celery root is very tender.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer celery root into a blender, reserving the cooking liquid. Add butter and let melt. Add garlic cloves, tahini, cumin, cayenne, salt, and lemon juice.
Ladle in a bit of the cooking liquid and blend. Continue adding cooking liquid a little bit at a time until desired texture is achieved. It took about 2 full ladles (of a 4 oz. ladle) to get to the puree I desired.
Transfer to a bowl and make a well in the center. Pour a little extra virgin olive oil in the well and sprinkle hummus with paprika. I love to eat this warm or cold, so serve as you like!