Yotam Ottolenghi's Crushed Carrots with Harissa and Pistachios
The sweetness of carrots makes them a bestselling vegetable in North Africa, where the combination of sweet with sour and spicy is used to make some unusually harmonious creations: tagines blending hearty meats and dried fruit, a colourful spread of salads to open a hefty meal, and a bunch of savoury fillings encased in paper-thin pastry. Carrots are the ideal candidates for all these, as they are for various syrupy desserts. Here, cooked carrots are crushed to make a sharp and hot spread that you can bring to the table as a starter, on a large platter, with a pile of warm pittas. You are welcome to increase the harissa if you like this very hot.
|1 tbsp||olive oil, plus extra for drizzling|
|1 kg||carrots, peeled and cut into 2cm slices|
|grated zest of 1 orange|
|1||garlic clove, crushed|
|2 tsp||harissa paste|
|grated zest of 1 lemon|
|1 tbsp||lemon juice|
|25g||shelled unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped|
|salt and black pepper|
Place the olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan on a medium–high heat. Add the carrots and sauté for 6 minutes, stirring often; they need to soften and take on a bit of colour. Add the stock, reduce the heat to medium– low, cover the pan and cook for another 25 minutes, until the carrots are completely soft and there is hardly any liquid left. Transfer the carrots to a food processor, add ¾ teaspoon of salt and blitz briefly to form a coarse paste. Leave to cool and then add the orange zest, garlic, harissa, half the lemon zest and some black pepper. Stir to combine.
Mix together the yoghurt, lemon juice, remaining lemon zest and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Spread the yoghurt out on a serving platter and spoon the carrot mixture on top.
Sprinkle with the pistachios, drizzle with a little olive oil and serve.