I learned to make this in Turkey in a sun-soaked kitchen in a house perched on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean. At home in the spring and summer, I make it often. It is a snap to pull together and dip into while you sip an after-work glass of wine or a cold beer. It turns a standard crudités tray into something special for large gatherings. (You won’t believe how many requests you get for the recipe.) Try it with heaps of raw baby rainbow carrots, sugar snap peas, whole or halved radishes, and quickly blanched cauliflower, or with a crisp salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta. I always serve it with triangles of pita bread, or with pita chips seasoned with sea salt. To add a little heat, drizzle the top of the yogurt with Chile Oil in place of olive oil.
Notes: You can easily adjust the yield based on the quantities you have on hand and the number of people you are serving. The ratios do not need to be exact. Add a little more yogurt or throw in an extra carrot and a little more oil. Just make sure to let the carrots sizzle for a good long while, until they are soft and browned at the edges.
When summer squash are in season, shredded zucchini makes an excellent addition. Swap 1 small zucchini for 1 carrot.
Excerpted from The Vegetable Butcher by Cara Mangini. Copyright © 2016. Photography by © Matthew Benson. Used with permission of Workman Publishing.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for finishing
3 medium to large carrot (10 to 12 ounces total), peeled, shredded on the large holes of a box grater
1/3 cup pine nuts (or 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts)
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus extra as needed
2 cups low-fat or full-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 to 2 garlic cloves, finely grated on a Microplane, pressed, or crushed into a paste
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a pinch of the carrots to the oil to test it: The oil is ready if the carrots sizzle.
Add the remaining carrots and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Add the pine nuts and salt.
Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are completely soft and browning and the pine nuts are golden, another 5 to 6 minutes.
Stir in the garlic and cook until it is incorporated and fragrant, another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Let cool briefly to warm.
Place the yogurt in a medium-size bowl. Stir in the warm carrot mixture, and season with salt to taste.
Transfer the dip to a serving bowl, and drizzle the top with olive oil. The dip will keep, in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days.