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MEDITERRANEAN MEZZE PLATTER + CREAMY CARROT TAHINI

How could I possibly put to words, my deep, wanton affection for all things SHED…

SHED has single handedly turned my annual pilgrimage to Sonoma County for medical care into what I now consider a legit vacation and week-long trip to the culinary spa. If SHED  has yet to hit your radar, check out this feature in Martha Stewart.

One of the few items which occupies a permanent spot on their constantly changing menu is the Carrot Tahini which can be enjoyed as a component of their Mezze Platter, or purchased from their larder to take away. Despite being perpetually offended by cooked carrots, we were drawn to the bright, almost neon hue and ultimately entranced by its velvety texture.

Once home from Sonoma I set out to replicate its color and texture, while punching the delicate flavor up a notch to frankly, disguise any overt flavor of cooked carrot.

For the record, my husband and I dislike very few foods, but are in complete agreement as to which foods make the list. We consider this proof that the universe intended us to be together.

My version of Carrot Tahini has lots more tahini than the SHED version – which admittedly, does mute the bright orange hue a bit. I also added garlic which produced the balance my palate was seeking. Only then could I proclaim my mission to be accomplished as there was no longer any objectionable flavor of cooked carrots. Instead, what you have is a velvety light spread with a hint of cumin, a whiff of nuttiness, and the subtle sweetness of carrots.

I hope you will find a place for this vibrant + versatile new dip on your next mezze platter.

BTW, with ingredients this virtuous, you are off the charts on the moral superiority meter! wink.

ingredients

1 pound carrots, peeled, trimmed, and halved crosswise
1 medium garlic clove
scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini – made with roasted (not raw) sesame seeds, well stirred
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt

Optional garnish: black sesame seeds

Pictured accompaniments: Jilz Crackerz, rainbow carrots, radishes, hummus, cucumbers, Castelvetrano olives, endive, watermelon radish slices.

do it

Yields 1 1/2 cups. Using a steaming basket over boiling water, (keeping the pot covered) steam the carrots until soft enough to pierce very easily with a knife, about 20-25 minutes — timing will depend on the size of your carrots. Add the carrots to your food processor and puree until velvety smooth. Remove the top of the processor to allow the steam to escape, allowing it to cool until room temperature. Add the remaining ingredients and process until combined and completely smooth. Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate until ready to use.  For serving, garnish with black sesame seeds if desired.

notes

This recipe only yields 1 1/2 cups so if you’re entertaining you may want to double the recipe.

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