Denise says:

  • The word hummus, (which has various spellings) is an Arabic word meaning “chickpea.
  • Made from cooked mashed chickpeas and blended with tahini – (sesame seed paste), olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and seasoning, my version with beetroot provides a vibrant and extra healthy addition to the classic recipe.
  • Legend speaks of hummus as being described as one of the oldest known prepared foods, even going back to the 12th century.
  • In Israel and many other Middle Eastern countries it is a key part of any mezze meal and eaten as a starter, snack or accompaniment.
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes
  • Serves: 6-10 people


  • 150g cooked beetroot – drained
  • 1 tablespoon tahina
  • 2 x 400g tin chickpeas -rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove –peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 100ml olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
  • Garnish:  6 tablespoons black olives
  •  6 large pitta breads – toasted
  •  Sprigs of fresh basil – roughly chopped
  • Dusting of freshly ground black pepper


  1. Roughly chop the beetroot.
  2. Place the beetroot and chickpeas in the food processor with the garlic, lemon juice and olive oil.
  3. Whiz together until smooth and season to taste.
  4. Toast the pitta bread for 5 minutes or until just golden. Cut into wedges.
  5. Divide the black olives and pitta bread on to 6 plates.
  6. To serve : Place a generous helping of hummus on the decorated plate and complete with a dusting of freshly ground black pepper and some chopped basil.