Those who follow my blog might remember we hosted a very special reception at our home a couple of months ago. So far, I only shared one of the recipes here, a focaccia that pleased me even more than my usual version. But my favorite appetizer by far was a carrot dip served over cucumber slices. A contrast of colors, textures, and flavors that pleased every single guest, in fact many asked me for the recipe.  If you are hosting a dinner party, please make a batch of these babies to open the evening. They are light enough that no one will feel overly stuffed before the real meal, and if you go the extra mile and pipe the dip over the cucumber, the presentation is quite stunning. Even if I say so myself…

Carrot Dip Cucumber

(inspired by this recipe)

tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp freshly ground ginger
 cup water
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
sliced English cucumber
black sesame seeds for decoration (optional)

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet.  Add the carrots and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until they begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Add the coriander, cumin, cinnamon and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the carrots are fully tender, about 15 minutes.

Add the cooked carrots to a food processor and process until smooth. Stir the remaining tablespoon of oil and vinegar. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until the dip is chilled, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Pipe mounds of the dip over cucumber slices, arrange on a serving platter, sprinkle black sesame seeds on top.


to print the recipe, click here


Hello there!  We are not only cute, but Paleo-friendly too!  

And now for something completely different. Let me share a small drama associated with the preparation of this plate. Keep in mind that I was already quite stressed and running out of time to get it all ready for the guests. I used a disposable piping bag coupled to a plastic star-shaped piping tip. When I finished piping the last round, I went to the sink to recover, wash and store away the tip. Well, the tip would NOT come out of the bag. I pulled, and pulled, and twisted and pulled.  Just as I told myself I really did not need that grievance, the tip exploded off and behaved like a golf tee after a perfect driver shot: it twirled up in the air, up, up, then down down, falling next to my feet on the floor.  I suspect you know where this is headed. Buck was way faster than me. He grabbed it, ran away to his bed, and started munching on it. I was terrified that he would choke on the tip, but I know better than trying to stick my fingers inside the mouth of a feasting Jack Russell.  Granted, once the tasty carrot stuff was gone, he let go of the tip, good doggie that he is (yeah, right). The piping tool was laid to its final rest in the trash can, totally ruined. But, can you imagine the odds of that? Unreal.  My kitchen must be a really bewitched spot… And I was not even baking a cake this time!

Back to food.  This was definitely one of the tastiest appetizers I’ve ever made, there’s something about the mixture of spices and the sweetness of the carrots… wow!  I tried the dip on Ak Mak crackers, it is great that way too, but please match it with the cucumber slices for a real treat.  I guess we could call it a nobel treat…


Small platter

ONE YEAR AGO: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

TWO YEARS AGO: Cilantro-Jalapeno “Hummus”

THREE YEARS AGO: A Moving Odyssey (three years already!!!!)

 Shrimp Moqueca