Earlier this month, Lara from the beautiful Seattle food blog Cook & Eat shared recipes for some tasty vegetable dips. I could have dipped a chip into any one of Lara's dips but somehow, the simple carrot dip called to me most plaintively.
It was the cooking method: chunks of carrots oven-simmered with cardamom pods and a bay leaf. Oh people, let me tell you, the scent that filled the house was heavenly ...
Even with the cardamom and orange syrup and yogurt, the dip remains distinctively 'carrot', just slightly sweeter, slightly lighter, slightly ... may I say, improved?
~ appetizer & snack recipes ~
~ vegetable dips & spreads ~
~ more carrot recipes ~
~ one year ago this week, my recipe for Homemade Mushroom Soup ~
~ two years ago today, Sun-Dried Tomato & Fennel Salad, the last of a collection of fennel recipes collected from food bloggers and the start of my own collection of many great ways to cook and eat fennel ~
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 2 hours
Makes 1 1/4 cups
1 cup orange juice (Lara used the juice from a blood orange; another time I'd use a tablespoon or two of frozen orange juice concentrate and skip the cooking-down process)
1 teaspoon sugar (skip this if using orange juice concentrate)
1 pound carrots
4 cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
4 tablespoons yogurt (I used non-fat Greek yogurt which happened to be on hand and worked perfectly)
Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400F.
In a small saucepan, cook the juice and sugar on MEDIUM HIGH, stirring often, til it becomes thick and syrupy and reduces to about 1/3 cup.
While the orange juice cooks down, peel the carrots and cut into chunks. With the cardamom and bay leaf, place in a baking dish large enough to keep the carrots in a single layer. Add water, about half as high as the carrot layer. Cover with foil and bake for an hour or until the carrots are very soft. Let cool. (If there's water left, you may want to either drain it or remove the carrots so they don't get soggy.)
In a food processor, whiz the carrots til smooth. Add a tablespoon or two of the orange syrup (or the orange juice concentrate if using that) and the yogurt. Season to taste. Chill until ready to serve.
Be sure to start with whole carrots, not the 'baby carrots' which are really just big ol' honkin' carrots, drilled into bullet shapes. They're handy for snacking but have zero flavor after cooking.
If the cardamom pods are soft after cooking, consider throwing them into the food processor too.
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