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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Carrot Tzatziki

This is based on something I had in Turkey a couple of years ago. Everything I ate in that trip was very simple, earnest and vegetarian, but just so delicious. Good quality veggies, and a generous amount of olive oil and garlic had a lot to do with it. And also the fact that it was holiday – everything tastes better on holiday.

I had never really thought that plain yogurt could be delicious until I went to Turkey. I always thought it was just plain yogurt. One way to recreate this back in the UK is to buy Middle Eastern brands of yogurt, or at least to buy full-fat yogurt instead of low or fat free. It is amazing how much difference full fat makes to the flavour (and I think the jury is out on how much it could really impact your waistline).

Obviously there is nothing wrong with regular tzatziki, its just that sometimes there are carrots that need using up, and it is good to ring the changes every once in a while. It is definitely better with fresh garlic, but if you want a more ‘social’ version, use garlic powder for a subtler garlic-y hum.

Serve this as part of a mezze, or with whatever you would usually use tzatziki for.  When I made it, I ate it with shakshuka and dukkah, and it was very delicious. There is no photo unfortunately – the lighting wasn’t quite right, so the gorgeous orange, gold and white-flecked tzatziki looked not so luscious, more nauseous.

Makes a generous mezze bowl for 4 – 6 people

1 medium sized carrot, grated (only peel if it really needs it)
300g greek yogurt, preferably full fat
1 clove crushed garlic, or 1 tsp garlic powder
Pinch of salt
½ tsp dried mint (use fresh if you have a glut of it in the garden, but dried I think works better for this)
1 generous tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil


Squeeze the grated carrot a bit to get some of the excess liquid out. Then simply mix everything together. If using fresh garlic, I would advise making it at least an hour before you are ready to serve, to allow the flavours to start to relax and develop.

I ate it with warm tortillas and dukkah – very delicious.

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