Carrot Tahini Dip

Recipe by Tami Ganeles Weiser; photo contributed by Ame Gilbert Yield:  36 servings (2 cups total of dip)
Prep Time:  25 minutes Cook Time:  15 minutes

Carrot Tahini Dip

This carrot and tahini dip is inspired by the tastes of North Africa and Spain. We loved serving this dip decoratively on endive leaves gussied up with radish shreds and a sprinkling of black nigella seeds. This smooth, sweet, and spiced dip hits every flavor note and makes a great two-bite, flavor-packed appetizer.

Ingredients

1½ pound carrots, sliced crosswise into ½-inch rounds

2 tablespoons sesame seed paste (tahini)

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ teaspoon grated or finely minced garlic

½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste

¼ teaspoon grated or finely minced ginger

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

½ teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika

½ teaspoon sweet smoked Spanish paprika

¼ teaspoon ground white pepper

½ teaspoon lemon zest

½ teaspoon minced preserved lemon peel

3 Belgian endives, root ends trimmed and leaves separated (see Kitchen Tips)

6 small radishes (or 1 to 2 watermelon radishes if available), finely julienned

1 teaspoon nigella seeds or black sesame seeds

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Instructions

  1. Set up a steamer or insert a steamer basket securely into a pot and add enough water to come up just below the steamer. Bring to a boil. Add the carrots to the steamer and steam  for about 15 minutes, until a knife inserted into a carrot meets with little resistance and the tip can be easily pulled out. Transfer to a food processor.
  2. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and ginger and process for 1 minute. Scrape down the side of the processor  and process until completely smooth.
  3. In a small bowl, blend the cumin, turmeric, sweet and smoked paprika, and white pepper. Add ¾ teaspoon of this spice blend to the carrots and pulse to blend. (Reserve the remaining spice blend. After everything is mixed together, taste for seasoning. You may choose to add more of the spices for a little more kick).
  4. Add the lemon zest and preserved lemon peel and pulse 2 to 3 times to combine.
  5. Arrange endive leaves decoratively on a serving tray. Dollop a teaspoon of dip onto the thick end of the endive, or pipe it using a pastry bag with a wide tip for a fancy look. Garnish with julienned radish and a few nigella seeds.

Kitchen Tips

  1. Each fat, firm endive yields around 12 good leaves.
  2. The dip will keep, refrigerated in a covered container, for up to 4 days.

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