Spring Carrot, Fennel & Leek Spread with Dill & Chives
Carrots and fennel are a divine match with dill and coriander for a smooth spread or dip that tastes like the quintessence of spring. They may be steamed for a lighter spread with a clean finish, or roasted to bring out the natural sweetness and aromatic essence. A touch of white miso brings a savory, round bodied flavor with the gentle sweetness of almonds.
Yields: about 2 pints
3 medium carrots
1 medium bulb fennel
1 leek, white part only
2 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed
pinch of sea salt
ï¿½ cup almonds (may be soaked for 8 hours in filtered water to improve digestibility) or pine nuts
1 teaspoon whole coriander seed
1 teaspoon white miso
1 tablespoon lemon juice
freshly ground pepper and sea salt to taste
2 tablespoons fresh dill, or more to taste
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, or more to taste
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
The carrots, fennel, and leek may be steamed or roasted as you desire. Roasting will bloom with more flavor and a lightly caramelized sweetness, and steaming offers a simple clean finish.
Trim and scrub or peel the carrots. Cut into 1/4-inch pieces.
Trim the fennel and cut into 1/4-inch wedges.
Trim and wash the leek and cut into ï¿½-inch pieces.
Bring 1-1/2 inches of water to a rolling boil in a medium saucepan. Steam the carrots just until tender (3-5 minutes). Remove and shock by running under cold water. Set aside. Steam the fennel just until tender (3-4 minutes). Remove and shock by running under cold water. Set aside. Steam leeks just until tender (2-4 minutes). Remove and shock by running under cold water.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Toss prepared vegetables with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Spread in one layer in a glass casserole dish or roasting pan.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tender and just able to be pierces with a fork.
Place almonds and coriander seed in a food processor or high-speed blender and ground into a fine meal.
Add prepared vegetables, an additional 2 tablespoons of olive oil, miso, lemon juice and black pepper and blend until very smooth. A high-speed blender is preferable for a silky texture. Season to taste with salt as needed.
Add dill, cilantro, and chives and blend in pulses, just until mixed, but pieces of herbs remain visible.
Serve at room temperature or chilled with crudit vegetables and/or crackers.
Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days