In season during Summer and Fall, the Carrot can be found year round as a staple in markets and on dinner tables across the country and around the world. This usually orange colored root vegetable will occasionally masquerade in disguises of purple, red, yellow and even white. The Carrot is often associated with good eyesight due to it’s beta carotene content, which is metabolized into vitamin A, and contributed to the urban legend that carrots helped with night vision. Apparently, during WW II the British Army spun a tale of high carrot consumption among it’s pilots to cover up the effective use of radar to shoot down German war planes in the dark. This tale had the added benefit of getting Britons to grow and eat more vegetables! Besides improved vision, Carrots boast a host of additional health benefits including cancer prevention, anti aging, healthy and glowing skin from inside and out, it is an antiseptic, prevents heart disease, cleanses the body with high fiber content, healthy teeth and gums and prevention of stroke. As a super food, Carrots are versatile in the kitchen and can be used in many recipes, from raw to cooked and savory to sweet. A raw carrot is great as a snack topped with anything from hummus and onion dip to peanut butter. A cooked carrot will release even more beta carotene than a raw one and can be served roasted, steamed, stewed and even turned into cake! Carrots are a popular vegetable in India and taste great with a curry flavor, which inspired the quick and yummy recipe below.
Coconut Curry Carrot Dip w/ Garlicky Pita Chips
1 pound Carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch chunks
1 cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1 teaspoon Curry Powder (choose your heat)
1/2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (optional)
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Cilantro, minced
1/2-1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 package Pita Bread, each piece cut into 6-8 triangles
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic, peeled
Sea Salt (optional)
For Carrot Dip:
1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat bring the carrots, coconut milk and curry powder to a simmer. Lower heat, cover pan and let simmer until carrots are tender. Watch the heat so it does not boil over, makes a mess!
2. When carrots are cooked set them aside for 10 minutes or so to cool a bit, then add them to a food processor with the cooking liquid, garlic, cilantro, olive oil (if desired) and smaller amount of salt and pepper. Puree until smooth, taste for seasoning and adjust, and set aside to finish cooling or serve it warm either on the pita or makes a good side dish as well.
For the pit chips:
1. Heat oven to 350. Combine the oil and the garlic clove in a small oven safe dish, cover with foil and place in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the garlic is soft. Remove from the oven and mash the garlic into the oil a bit.
2. Layer the Pita triangles onto sheet pans and, using a pastry brush, brush lightly with the garlic oil. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until crisp. Remove and sprinkle with sea salt (if desired)
Serve warm or cold