Peanuts Carrot Appetizer Spread

Salty cocktail peanuts, sweet organic carrots, and tangy thick or Greek yogurt are combined for this surprising spread.

Thick yogurt is simply plain yogurt that is drained and is a great lower calories option than mayonnaise, sour cream or cream cheese, whether in dips, main courses or desserts. Simply line a medium-sized sieve or strainer with a coffee filter or two layers of paper towels.  Set it over a bowl.  Fill with a non-gelatin plain yogurt.  Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.  Discard the whey (the drained liquid).  One cup of yogurt makes about 1/2 cup of thick yogurt.

No need to chop  garlic or ginger if you purchase Christopher Ranch jarred garlic and jarred ginger (Gilroy California).  These purees are sold in four-ounce jars in the Asian section of many markets. They require refrigeration after opening. Available on line at http://www.garlicworld.com.

Makes 1 1/2 cups

1-tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1-tablespoon butter
2 cups tightly packed grated organic carrots, divided (about 3 carrots)
1-teaspoon minced fresh garlic or garlic puree
1-teaspoon grated fresh ginger or ginger puree
1/4-teaspoon kosher salt
1/8-teaspoon cayenne pepper
Zest and juice of 1/2 lime, about 2 tablespoons juice
1/2 cup thick yogurt or Greek yogurt
1/2 cup chopped peanuts, divided

Heat the olive oil in a 10” skillet over medium heat.  Melt the butter with the oil.  Add 1-cup carrots and sauté 1 minute.  Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute.  Sprinkle with the lime juice, kosher salt and cayenne pepper. Sauté one more minute.

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the yogurt, lime zest, remaining grated carrots and 6 tablespoons peanuts.  Transfer the spread to a small serving bowl and sprinkle with the remaining peanuts.

Serve with crudités and/or toasted pita wedges.  Keeps in the refrigerator 2 weeks.

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