Tuesday, September 16, 2008

International Mezze Plate for Blog Party #38, Birthday Bash--Part 2: Curried Carrot Dip and Potato Skordalia

For Part 2 of Blog Party #38--Birthday Bash, celebrating the wonderful Stephanie (see Part 1 below) we have two different flavorful and exotic dips that complete the mezze platter.

The first is Curried Carrot Dip from Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero and Classic Skordalia from The Olive and the Caper: Adventures in Greek Cooking by Susanna Hoffman (this is not a vegetarian cookbook but has lots of great recipes for grains and vegetables).
I thought the bright orange color of the carrot dip would be nice on the platter and anything with cumin and curry has a big flavor punch.

Curried Carrot Dip
Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2" chunks
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds (salted are OK, just add less salt)
2 tsp grapeseed or other vegetable oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Boil the carrots for 7-10 minutes, until soft. Drain and let cool just until they are no longer steaming. Place the sunflower seeds in a blender or food processor and process until crumbs. Add all remaining ingredients and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the processor as you go. Taste for salt and adjust the spices and lemon. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate until ready to use (at least 30 min.) Makes 2 Cups.
Results: Great flavor. The authors note that they use only a touch of garlic as raw garlic can overpower the other ingredients and caution you to taste first. Knowing I like lots of garlic, I upped the amount as well as the amount of lemon juice and thought it brightened the flavor and gave it more of a punch. The combination of spices add layers of flavor to the carrots and the ground sunflower seeds add interesting texture.

I love garlic and potatoes and have had the classic Greek appetizer Skordalia marked to try for awhile now. In Greece, it is served as an appetizer but also can be stirred into soups or served on vegetables. It always has garlic but can be made with bread instead of potatoes

Classic Potato Skordalia
The Olive and the Caper, Susanna Hoffman
1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
1/3 cup blanched almonds
15 cloves garlic
1 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
Place the potato in a small saucepan and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until soft all the way through, about 10 minutes. Drain. Transfer the potato to a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Use right away or cover and store in the refrigerator for as long as overnight. Makes about 2 cups. (The author notes that you can make the skordalia by hand; using a mortar and pestle for the almonds, mashing the potato with a fork or potato masher and mixing it all together, blending well).

Results: Make sure whoever you plan to get close to eats this as well as the garlic is pretty strong. It would definitely keep any wandering vampires away! The flavor is delicious and once you get over the fact that the texture is a bit like wallpaper paste, it is good. I did find it needed a bit more salt than asked for in the recipe.
Both of these dips/spreads are easy to prepare and along with the Chapatis and Dukka from yesterday add different dimensions of taste, texture and color to the mezze plate.

What birthday party would be complete without cake (or cupcakes) and something great to drink? Come visit tomorrow for Jelly Donut Cupcakes and a refreshing Teany "Red Cooler" with teas and fruit juice to wash it all down with. You can check out all the details on Blog Party here.


  1. Wow carrot dip somethig new and looks awesome.

  2. Oh, I already love skordalia but that carrot dip is going to be a new fave on my list, I can tell already. It looks like the perfect low cal lunch.

  3. I love the color of that curried carrot dip - it just looks delightful! I can't wait to see the rest of the meal!

  4. Garlic Rules!!!
    I love garlic and always double the garlic quotient in recipes.
    I love all your dips and little square bowls.
    I have only one question - should I buy Veganomicon?

  5. Wow! All of those dips look awesome! I am a HUGE fan of mezze and these all look great!

  6. Kitchen Flavors--yes the cool was great on it.

    Prudy--It would be pretty healthy I think! ;-)

    Michelle--Eat the rainbow! ;-)

    Natashya--I think garlic rules too! i have made about 5 things from Veganomicon and liked all of them (their Ceasar Salad and dressing is a favorite) so if you want a good Vegan cookbook I would recommend it based on the 5 things I have made.


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