This week I am struggling with the English and American in me. In the UK it is National Vegetarian Week. In the US it is Memorial Day Weekend. I’m sitting in London but thinking of the upcoming holiday weekend in the States. To appease both I am doing two very easy vegetarian dips, in case you might be entertaining. On the Menu: a Traditional Hummus and a Honey and Truffle infused Carrot Dip.
Both of these recipes are simplistic, extremely tasty and a crowd pleaser. There are minimal ingredients in these recipes so it’s best to use organic products whenever you can find them.
I serve both recipes with a bundle of whole wheat pita bread. A quick way to get toasty bread is to put your stove top (gas or electric) on low. Place the pita on top of the burner and flip over after 1 to 2 minutes. You should have some grill marks on the bread. Cut into quarters and serve.
Carrot Dip with Black Truffle Honey
4 Large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 Small leek, ends trimmed, roughly chopped and rinsed
1 Garlic clove, peeled
3 Cups of water
½ Cup Olive oil + 1 Tablespoon
2 Teaspoons honey infused with black truffle (available at specialty food stores). If you cannot locate, a good quality honey will do.
Sea Salt (or kosher salt) and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
In a medium pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add leeks and cook until soft. About 5 minutes.
Add carrots and garlic. Add water until carrots and leeks are just covered. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are very soft. About 15 minutes.
Drain and transfer to a food processor. Pulse until smooth.
Add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
Add truffle infused honey. Pulse food processor a few seconds more to incorporate. Taste to make sure it is suitable to your liking. Add more honey or a pinch of salt to your taste. The honey and salt balance each other out. Do not overdo one more than the other. The flavors should be delicate.
Traditional Hummus (Houmous)
1 Can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 ½ Tablespoons Tahini paste (I prefer “raw” tahini versus “roasted” tahini.) Available in most supermarkets
1 Lemon, juice only
¼ Cup Olive Oil (good quality)
3 Tablespoons cold water
Sea salt (or Kosher salt) and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
In a food processor add the chickpeas, pinch of salt and pepper and the tahini paste and pulse.
Remove the upper lid and slowly stream in lemon juice. You should still have a rough consistency. Slowly stream in cold water while food processor is running. Add water to your liking. I prefer a very smooth hummus so I use about 3 tablespoons of water.
Transfer to a decorative bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in good quality olive oil.
Sprinkle with sweet paprika on top.
Notes: These recipes are designed to save time in the kitchen. If you plan on making hummus often (I make it weekly) it is best health wise to buy dried Garbanzo beans. The beans need to be soaked overnight and simmered or steamed for about 3 hours. I limit my usage of canned products when possible.
For a change with the carrot dip you could roast the carrots in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes. Add the leeks 20 minutes into the roasting process.
All recipes © Laura Dove