Here’s my attempt at recreating a fresh, vegetarian appetizer (meze) – with two ingredients that are easy to find year-round: carrots and plain yogurt. This is a common meze in Turkey and is highly nutritious. The carrots are an exceptional source of vitamin A and are rich in antioxidants (beta carotene for example). Yogurt (organic, plain) is a solid source for calcium and vitamin B-12.
It’s easy to serve this alongside other small plates as appetizers, or as a side dish for a more complete dinner. It’s just a few ingredients and is not difficult to make (though, admittedly – although this is still really tasty, it just doesn’t taste quite the same as when we had it in Turkey…)
- 4 carrots, grated (equivalent to about 4 cups of grated carrot)
- 1 cup plain, organic yogurt
- 1 small onion, diced finely
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced finely
- 2 Tbsp cold pressed olive oil
- Pinch of cumin
- Pinch of salt
- Juice from ½ lemon
In a pan, sauté the onions with olive oil until they are soft and translucent. Add the grated carrots and a bit of water. Stir gently and cover the pan with a lid. Let it steam lightly until the carrots have cooked down and are soft. Remove from the heat, set aside, and cool.
On the side, mix the garlic with the yogurt, cumin, and a dash of salt. Stir in the carrots and lemon juice last. Serve with warm pita or as a side dish to a larger meal. Keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days and can be used as a sandwich spread.