Smoked carrot hummus
Serve it as a dip for raw vegetables, as an appetiser spread on toasted bread, or turn it into a meal with some crumbled goat cheese
Years ago, attending a food blogger conference in London, I found myself with a group of friends in one of Ottolenghi’s new restaurants. It was the first time I heard about him, and the first time I experienced a mezze style meal.
That food conference was a turning point for my career in food, so I have fond memories of that meal, of all the chats, of the friends for life I made on that occasion, of the inspiration and the vibrant energy I experienced so clearly sitting at that crowded table.
From that meal, I also brought back an infinite love for a dip of carrot hummus I had tried, licking the bowl clean.
Since that moment, I’ve made it countless times, eyeballing the ingredients to come close to that first carrot hummus I had tried in a cheerful meal in London: it tasted like a new perspective on life, high expectations, enthusiasm and inspiration.
Serve the carrot hummus as a dip for raw vegetables, as an appetiser spread on toasted semolina bread, or turn it into a meal with some crumbled goat cheese.
Serves 6 as an appetizer
550grams/1¼ lb carrots
1 clove of garlic, unpeeled
2 tablespoons tahini
Juice 1 lemon
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (pimenton)
Fine sea salt
Extra virgin olive oil
Dukkah to serve
Preheat the oven to 175°C.
Peel the carrots, or scrub them vigorously. Quarter them lengthwise if they are thick, chubby carrots, otherwise, just halve them. If you have carrots of different sizes, try to cut them so that they have all the same thickness, thus ensuring an equal roasting time.
Arrange the carrots in a tray, add the garlic clove, then drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle them with salt. Massage them quickly as to coat them evenly with the dressing.
Transfer the carrots to the oven and roast them for about 40 minutes, or until you can easily cut them with a fork. Remove from the oven and let them cool down.
Now make the carrot spread. Transfer the carrots to a food processor, add the tahini, the lemon juice, the cumin powder, and the smoked paprika. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of its peel and add it too. Blend until you get a smooth, burnt orange spread, taste and adjust with salt.
When ready to serve the carrot hummus, spoon it into a bowl, smooth it, then make a dip on the surface. Sprinkle with dukkah and drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil.
Keep the carrot hummus in the fridge in an airtight container, or in a bowl covered with plastic wrap, for up to 4 days.
Here you can find the recipe to make dukkah, a nut and spice blend from Egypt, Ottolenghi’s style. In his own words, it brings crunch to dishes that need a little texture, and in this case, dukkah marries this carrot hummus beautifully both in taste and texture.
If you do not want to make it, you can substitute it with toasted and roughly chopped hazelnuts.
This is a definite try for summer screen porch meals.