SERVES 2 TO 4 Get ready for your next food crush. Seriously. This velvety, crazy-good sweet and savory blend of charred carrots, tahini (sesame paste), lemon, and spice by our culinary muse Niki Ford is lighter and more nuanced than chickpea hummus, and it goes great with crudités or crackers or on a sandwich.

 

2 cups carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons tahini

1 small clove garlic, smashed

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus more for garnish

 

Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Toss the carrots with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and roast until tender and charred in some places, 25 to 35 minutes.

In a blender or food processor, combine the carrots, 3/4 cup water, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon juice, tahini, garlic, cumin, and paprika and blend until completely smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides. Season to taste with salt, transfer to a bowl, and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika.

 

Photo: Paul Sirisalee