Carrots are one of the best selling vegetables in North Africa because of their sweetness. Their sweetness is paired with both sour and spicy flavours in many dishes of the region – salads, tangines, pastries, desserts.
In this Moroccan dish, carrots are cooked and crushed to make a sharp and hot spread. Bring it to the table while still warm, on a platter with a pile of warm pitta breads. It makes a great starter or mezze dish.
This is a recipe from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. We are cooking our way through Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our kitchen, garden, pantry and local shops. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.
Browse all of our Moroccan recipes and all of our Carrot dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.
Spicy Crushed Carrots with Yoghurt
ingredients for four
1 Tblspn olive oil
1 Tblspn butter
1 kg carrots, peeled and cut into 2cm slices
200ml vegetable stock
grated zest of 1 orange
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 tspn harissa paste
grated zest of 1 lemon
sea salt and black pepper
200g Indian or Greek-style yoghurt
1 Tblspn lemon juice
25g pistachios, roughly chopped, or a herb lime salsa (see below)
olive oil, to serve
Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat and sauté the carrots, stirring often, for six minutes. 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 around 25 minutes until the carrots are completely soft and hardly any liquid is left.
Transfer the carrots to a food processor, add salt to taste and blitz to a coarse paste. Leave to cool, 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 a pinch or two of salt. Spread the yoghurt over a serving plate and spoon the carrot mixture on top. Sprinkle with pistachios, drizzle with olive oil and serve.
recipe notes and alternatives
Instead of the pistachios, you can make a herb salsa and use that to dot around the carrots. Finely chop a selection of coriander, basil, parsley and/or mint. Mix with olive oil and lemon juice, salt and pepper and minced garlic. Mix well, then dot over the carrots.