This is a dip that I love just as much served at room temperature as I do chilled from the fridge. I have been known to use this just as frequently as a cool spread for a roasted pork sandwich and even as a thickener for a vegetable soup.
Pickling carrots is like giving them a fabulous spa treatment before I put them out on the table. I serve them with this creamy dip to avoid the toasted bread or chip trap and serve something that feels more special and different.
Swap option: If you want to use the dip as a light vegetarian side dish, skip the blender and serve as is!
- 3½ ounces sea salt
- 4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 12 medium to small carrots, tops removed, split lengthwise
White bean dip
- Kosher salt
- 10 medium cloves garlic
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon hot curry powder
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground white pepper
- 1½ cups dry white beans, cooked tender
- 1 splash Worcestershire sauce
- 3/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 3 scallions, green and white parts thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs, toasted
For the pickled carrots:
In a medium sauté pan, combine the sea salt, dark brown sugar, red pepper flakes and apple cider vinegar with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for five minutes. Remove the brine from the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Add the carrots and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or until ready to serve.
For the white bean dip:
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt. Add the garlic cloves and bring the water back to a boil. Strain the water out. Repeat this process a second time (blanching the garlic repeatedly removes the bitterness and softens the texture; the extra step here makes a big taste difference). Drain the garlic.
3. Return the garlic cloves to the same pot and add the cream and curry powder. Season the cream with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Add 1¼ cups of the beans and cook until the beans start to fall apart, 15-20 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Add a splash Worcestershire sauce. Blend the cream mixture in the blender until smooth. Stir in the remaining beans, parsley and scallions. Set aside.
4. Place the bean mixture in an ovenproof dish, top with the breadcrumbs and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the breadcrumbs brown and the mixture bubbles. Serve immediately.