11 September 2010

Carrot dip. The mean brother of baby food.

This looks so innocent, doesn't it? I really reminds you a bit of baby food, if it weren't for the olives, right? Go ahead, take a bite. At first, you think: "What is she talking about? Just regular carrots. A bit on the sweet side." And then it will hit you: the tartness of the lemon juice. The slight bitterness of the olive oil. The complexity of the spices. And last, but not least: the slight burn of chili in your throat.

This is a great dip and it goes very well with all those other oriental-inspired dips, hummus, baba ghanoush and tzatziki. Just serve them all with some pita bread and olives and you have a simple, but very satisfying dinner.


250 g / 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon ras-el-hanout (or ground cumin)
1 tablespoon harissa
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus some for garnishing

Around here, you always get carrots in 1 kilo / 2 pound packages. Minimum. So most times, I take the rest of the package I did not use and eyeball the amount of the rest of the other ingredients.

Peel the carrots, cut them into finger-thick slices and cook them in very salty water for about 20 minutes. They should be soft, but not falling to bits.

In the meantime, mix together lemon juice, crushed garlic, ras-el-hanout and olive oil. Hold the salt, there will be already enough in the carrots.

I like to use my immersion blender for this, so I start in a rather high and narrow mixing bowl. But feel free to use a food processor if you happen to own one.

Drain the carrots and put them over the harissa-mixture. Then puree them as fine as you want them. Personally, I like some bits left, otherwise it reminds me too much of baby food...

Serve in a nice bowl when it is cooled down, garnish with some olives and olive oil. Then dig right in.


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