Roasted Carrot Spread is the answer to your appetizer dreams. Flavored with olive oil, tahini, and North African spices (fennel, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, smoked paprika), it is pretty much the best thing since hummus. And let’s face it, as great and variable as hummus is, we’re all a bit tired of it, right? Plus, if you use a non-dairy yogurt (or simply leave the yogurt out, adding a bit more olive oil if needed), it will make your paleo friends happy, too. In fact, it’s not only paleo but also gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan.
I first made this roasted carrot spread for a tapas party. It’s more Moroccan than Spanish, but the flavors—olive oil, smoked paprika, and other spices—seemed to fit right in. I made it again today when I realized I had a pound of carrots in my fridge and no plans for what to do with them. All the other ingredients were in my pantry, as well.
Best of all, this healthy roasted carrot spread uses one of my favorite kitchen gadgets, the nutri-blender (any bullet-style blender such as the Magic Bullet or NutriBullet). The recipe is excerpted from one of my latest books, The Nutri-Blender Recipe Bible. The carrots get roasted in olive oil along with whole spices and then the whole thing gets whirled quickly in the blender. So quick, so easy, so delicious.
- 4 large carrots (about 1 pound), scrubbed and cut into ½-inch thick rounds
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- In a large bowl, combine the carrots, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper and toss to coat well. Transfer the mixture to a rimmed baking sheet and spread the carrots out into a single layer. Roast in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until the carrots are tender and beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
- In the jar of the nutri-blender, combine the remaining yogurt, lemon juice, tahini, smoked paprika, cinnamon, cayenne, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil . Add the carrots and blend for about 30 seconds, until the mixture is smooth and well combined. If necessary, scrape down the sides of the jar and blend again until well combined. Serve immediately or store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week. Bring to room temperature before serving.