This morning, I awoke with something of a garlic hangover.
No, really. Picture the boozy cloud surrounding someone after a late-night drinking binge, then substitute garlic for the booze—its pungent smell on my breath, my arms, my hands. After a quick Google search, I confirmed this was not a product of my imagination (allyl methyl sulfide, j’accuse!); I was literally seeping garlic.
On any other day, I might point fingers, might identify the offending culprit (in this case, a recipe), and expunge it from my diet.
But today—and I say this with absolute confidence, from behind my little sulfuric shroud—my unfortunate morning after was absolutely worth it.
I don’t remember when or why I bookmarked this recipe. I suspect it had something to do with its Turkish origins, or the authors’ prediction that “You’ll never feel the same way about carrots after you’ve tried this dish.” But I do know that I never expected it to deliver so completely. (To be honest, I was skeptical even during the act of cooking, discouraged by the mound of shredded carrots.)
Having now tasted this beguiling, creamy, and, yes, garlicky carrot creation, I will testify: truly, I’ll never feel the same way about carrots (or garlic) again.
Carrots with Garlic and Yogurt
Adapted from by A Taste of Turkish Cuisine, by Nur Ilkin and Sheilah Kaufman
It is rare that I miss an Aleppo pepper opportunity, let alone deliberately omit it from a recipe. But last night, I was so delighted by the results of this carrot-yogurt concoction, I decided to leave well enough [read: delicious] alone. Next time, I might sprinkle on some Aleppo, but still forgo the extra drizzle of olive oil—there’s quite a lot of that already. I also reduced the amount of garlic and yogurt in the recipe; make sure you taste as you go.
This is as much a dip as it is a salad, perfect in a selection of mezze. According to the authors, “Turkish zucchini can be used instead of the carrots, but a teaspoon of dried mint will need to be added to the dish.”
4-5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 pound carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
2-4 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup drained yogurt [I used Greek yogurt]
2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper or paprika, optional
1. In a 3-quart pot, heat the oil and sauté the onions, stirring over medium heat for 5 minutes. Do not let them brown or burn.
2. Add the carrots, stirring to mix well, and continue cooking for 10 minutes. [I lightly seasoned the carrots and onions as they cooked, though it was not called for.] Remove from heat and let cool.
3. Crush the garlic and salt with a mortar and pestle. Place the cooled carrots in a large bowl and add the drained yogurt and the garlic mixture to taste. [I only used about 1/3 cup of yogurt and 2 garlic cloves.] Mix well and place in a serving dish.
4. Combine 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and the Aleppo pepper and drizzle in a design over the top of the carrots. Decorate with olives if desired. [Again, I didn’t do this, but I’m sure it would be tasty.] Serve at room temperature or chilled.