Roasted Carrot Hummus

Caption 01: Photo by Lynda Balslev for TasteFood.

Lynda Balslev/TasteFood.

Who doesn't like a good hummus? Mild, nutty and agreeably versatile, this creamy Levantine dip is a go-to for snacks, spreads and party dips. It's also a wonderful starting point for variations, such as carrot hummus.

Carrot hummus, you say? You bet: Picture your favorite Middle Eastern hummus — the ubiquitous blend of chickpeas, sesame paste (tahini), olive oil, lemon and garlic. Then, send it farther west to North Africa, picking up a few more ingredients along the way, such as coriander, mint and harissa, a fiery Moroccan chili paste. Now, add the carrots, but before you do, roast them first, softening them to a blending consistency, coloring them with a little char and coaxing out their ample natural sugars. Give it all a good long blitz with the usual hummus ingredients in a food processor until thick, creamy and smooth.

Take a taste — it will be mildly sweet, slightly nutty, a tad smoky, vividly colored and bright with citrus. Scrape it into a bowl and lick the spoon, then decorate the top with a shower of chopped crunchy pistachios and fragrant mint. Chances are you will never go back.

Lynda Balslev is the co-author of "Almonds: Recipes, History, Culture" (Gibbs Smith, 2014).

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