I tend to steer clear of catering and event planning gigs, but when it’s for good friends it feels more fun than work. So, when Marc and Joanna Appleton asked me to do an event for an architecture book party (more on that below) the only answer was yes and yes.
We converted Marc and Joanna’s kitchen table into a mezze board filled with tapas. An assortment of interesting, seasonal bites that would soak up Champagne and Cru Beaujolais but not weigh you down. This zesty Carrot Cumin Dip was the perfect addition – alongside an entire table full of mezze, like labneh sprinkled with za’atar, homemade pita, baba ganoush, olives, cilantro hummus – it was a match for everything on your plate.
At home, I love to have this dip on hand in the fridge for snacks and lunches. I’ll toast a pita and spread it with a little hummus or yogurt, add a smear of this carrot dip. It just sends it over the moon. It’s so darn tasty with a little crunch and that coveted zip.
There’s a trick to bringing out the carrot sweetness and it doesn’t have anything to do with sugar. If you parboil them before using, here in this dip recipe, or even before roasting, it makes them incredibly flavorful. When picking carrots always try to choose the best quality, freshest organic carrots you can find. After all, carrots aren’t just growing from the dirt but encased in it too.
Back to the book, top designers assembled in the garden swapping stories and sharing laughs as they celebrated The New Shingled House by New York based architectural firm Ike Kligerman Barkely. The book gives you an inside look at inspiring twists on the shingled house. You’ll find inspiration in the lines and beauty of the homes. I find myself drooling over the gardens and interiors alike.
I have a copy of the book to giveaway, just leave a comment below to win. I promise my drool won’t be on the pages. But first, try this dip! It’ll add something special to those holiday gatherings.
Carrot Cumin Dip
Makes 2 cups
8 ounces large carrots, scrubbed and peeled
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon ras el hanout
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Juice of half a small lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt to taste
Cut carrots into thirds. Place them in salted boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove onto dry towels until cool.
While the carrots cool, grind the toasted cumin seeds in a mortar and pestle. Then, grate the carrots with a box grater — you know that mini square side that no one tells you to use? Or alternately, you can add the carrot pieces to a food processor fitted with a blade and blitz them until finely grated. Mix the carrots with the remaining ingredients. Taste to adjust the seasoning and serve.
Leave a comment below and you’ll be entered to win a copy of this gorgeous book. Cheers!
Photos by Evan Janke