I don’t know if this “Roasted Carrot Dip” will guarantee you 20-20 vision.
But with four large carrots in it, this dip will have you seeing this common root veggie in a whole new light.
The recipe is from “Modern Mediterranean: Easy, Flavorful Home Cooking” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang), of which I received a review copy. Raised in Greece and New York, Melia Marden, executive chef of The Smile in New York City, offers up 125 Mediterranean-inspired recipes made for the home-cook. You’ll be inviting friends and family over in no time flat for a Greek-style feast with everything from fava bean crostini to Moroccan meatballs to Greek-yogurt panna cotta.
What caught my eye about this particular dip is how relatively healthful it is. So many favorite dips that we can’t stop dunking into are loaded with mayonnaise or cream cheese, leaving us with a caloric-hangover before we know it.
But this dip is different. It gets its creamy body from carrots roasted in the oven, then pureed with a little olive oil, a touch of honey, some feta, and a load of cumin and coriander. Preserved lemon adds a musky citrus complexity to the warm, earthy spices. If you have any leftover feta, you can sprinkle a little over the top for contrast.
This dip is quite distinctive and satisfying spread on pita or crackers or with crunchy, raw vegetables.
It makes you remember just how exciting carrots can be.
(Makes 2 cups)
4 large carrots (about 1 pound), scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds
1/2 preserved lemon, seeds removed, roughly chopped
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon honey
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a bowl, toss together the carrots, preserved lemon, 2 tablespoons of the oil, the coriander, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper to taste. Spread mixture on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast until carrots are tender and browned at the edges, about 30 minutes. Let cool.
Place carrots, honey, cheese, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a blender or food processor and blend on high speed until smooth. Serve, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
From “Modern Mediterranean: Easy, Flavorful Home Cooking” by Melia Marden
Other Carrot Recipes: Maple Mustard and Tahini Glazed Carrots