Charred Carrot and Onion Dip with Chives


Photo by Michael Piazza

Based on a roasted onion and shallot dip from Bon Appetit, this dip is amped up for summer with sweet, earthy charred carrot ribbons added to the alliums. It’s basically a more sophisticated version of the Lipton onion dip of your childhood; serve it with fresh, crunchy raw summer vegetable crudité if you must, but a bag of rippled potato chips is the natural pairing.

Note: For a more concentrated onion flavor, there are a couple of secret weapons in this recipe—granulated onion and granulated garlic, two throwback ingredients I keep in my spice drawer for when I need a boost of flavor. For instance, unless I’m doing a wet marinade for steak or chicken or pork chops, the absolute best—and easiest—seasoning for meat is a sprinkle of granulated garlic along with plenty of salt and pepper. Granulated garlic doesn’t burn like minced fresh garlic does, so it imparts flavor without an acrid, scorched taste.

Serves 6–8 as an appetizer

4 onions
4 carrots
extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon local cider vinegar
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup sour cream
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ cup minced fresh chives

Preheat oven to 400 F°.

Prepare the vegetables: Peel and remove the stem ends from all 4 onions, then finely mince 1 and thinly slice the other 3. Peel and trim the carrots; then, using a vegetable peeler, slice the carrots into ribbons all the way down to the core. Eat or compost the cores or save them for broth.

Toss the sliced onions with 2–3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt on a baking sheet and place in the oven to roast, stirring occasionally, 35 minutes or until deeply golden brown. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil until shimmering over high heat in a heavy cast-iron skillet and add the carrot ribbons; season with salt and pepper and sear, stirring occasionally, until soft and slightly charred at the edges. Transfer the carrots to the baking sheet with the onions along with the garlic and thyme leaves. Stir to combine and return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes.

Return the cast-iron skillet to the heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the minced onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook very slowly over low heat until just translucent and not browned; you want a soft, bright oniony flavor here. Remove the vegetable tray from the oven and sprinkle all over with the vinegar; stir in the cooked minced onions and set aside for the whole mixture to cool.

When the vegetables have cooled to room temperature, coarsely chop on a board and scrape into a mixing bowl. Add the yogurt, sour cream, onion powder, granulated garlic and most of the chives (saving some aside for garnish). Stir to combine, taste and add more salt or vinegar, if needed. Serve garnished with chives, lots of cracked black pepper on top, a pile of summer vegetable crudité and a bag of rippled potato chips.

This recipe appeared in the Summer 2019 issue as part of a larger story on Dips, Spreads and Sauces.