fiery carrot dip

Nadia Roden started making this dip—one of her mother’s standards—as a student, because the ingredients are very inexpensive. She still prepares it, especially for big parties, because it’s easy and unusual.

2 pounds carrots, cut into 3-inch lengths
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
1¼ teaspoons harissa or other chile paste
1½ teaspoons ground cumin or caraway
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
3 pitted black olives
  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the carrots and cook over moderately high heat until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.
  2. Transfer the carrots to a food processor. Add the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, honey, harissa, cumin and ginger and process to a smooth puree. Season the dip with salt.
  3. Scrape the dip onto a platter or into a bowl. Scatter the feta cheese and olives on top and serve.

Make Ahead
The dip can be refrigerated for 2 days. Serve at room temperature.

Serve this dip with crackers or make your own pita chips: Split 8 pita pockets into two rounds. Brush the rough sides of the rounds with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Stack the rounds and cut them into 8 wedges. Spread the pita in an even layer on large a baking sheet. Toast them in a 350° oven for about 10 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Turn the baking sheet halfway through baking to help them brown evenly.

Serves 8.

Recipe by Nadia Roden, Food & Wine magazine, February 2004