Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and bake for about 1 hour, until very soft. Remove the beets and lower the heat to 350°F.
Allow the beets to cool slightly. Meanwhile, make the Baked Pita Chips, following the recipe below.
When the beets are cool enough to handle, rinse the beets under cold water. Use a paper towel to rub the skins off. Cut the beets into 1 inch chunks.
Place the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin and olive oil in a food processor. Process until smooth. Add the beets and pulse until coarsely chopped, then let the motor run until the mixture is fairly smooth. Add the water as needed to reach the desired consistency.
Transfer the beet hummus into a serving bowl and serve with the pita chips.
Note: You could use other color beets, but then you are sacrificing the plummy red color, which really makes this hummus special. If the beets stain your hands, you can make a mixture of baking soda with a little water to rub into the stains, or try rubbing a cut lemon over the stains on your skin.
Baked Pita Chips Ingredients:
Eat these on their own, or serve them with whatever dips you like. They are also great with salsa or guacamole, and make a lovely partner for a bowl of soup.
1/3 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, very finely minced or squished through a garlic press (you want it to be as paste-like as possible)
6 6-inch pitas
Baked Pita Chips Directions:
In a small bowl blend the olive oil and garlic. Brush the mixture onto the tops of the pita breads, sprinkle them with salt and lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated 350°F oven until they are as crisp as you like them, from 4 to 7 minutes (keeping in mind they will get a little crisper as they cool).
As soon as they come out of the oven, cut them into six wedges each. Serve warm or at room temperature.