SERVES 6 TO 8
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Wrap the beets and garlic cloves separately in heavy-duty aluminum foil and roast in the oven until the garlic cloves are soft and the beets are tender enough to be pierced easily with a thin metal skewer, 40 to 50 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Working over the sink, peel the beets; their skins should slip off easily. Cut the beets into chunks and put in a food processor with the stainless-steel blade. Squeeze the garlic pulp from the skins into the processor. Puree until smooth, 45 to 60 seconds. Add the chickpeas, 2 tablespoons of tahini, and half the lemon juice; process until thoroughly incorporated while drizzling in the olive oil.. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more tahini and lemon juice if needed.
Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with lemon zest. Serve with Belgian endive leaves and cucumber slices.
In the early 1970s, my first job out of college was in New York City. I started playing men’s field hockey with my very good friend from school and college, Peter Gilbert. We hired a coach and trained two to three times a week near his apartment on the West Side. The best part came after those workouts, when we indulged in the amazing cooking of Peter’s wife, Mike Gilbert. Every night she prepared something wonderful, many times recipes she learned through her friendships with many of New York’s best chefs. Recently, Mike served me her Roasted Beet Hummus, inspired by a recipe on the Minimalist Baker website, but with Mike’s own personal touches. The dip looks fantastic and tastes even better.
3 medium raw beets, scrubbed but left unpeeled
2 large garlic cloves, skins left on
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
2 to 3 tablespoons tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Zest of ½ lemon
Belgian endive leaves
1 cucumber, sliced