Farmer's Weekly gave carrots one of the lowest carbon ratings, at just 45g Carbon dioxide per 1kg carrots - whereas beef is more than 300x this. In the UK, farmers can provide all all-round supply of carrots due to a method which involves protecting the crop with straw though the winter, allowing harvest throughout the colder months. Therefore their journey from field to kitchen is always short. Rye is also grown in the UK, and whole grain rye flour still contains its endosperm (outer hull), which leads to this flour being more fibrous and nutritionally dense than wheat flour.
The dip is a bit like cheese and chutney. The combination of smooth, salty miso butter beans with sweet thyme dates works perfectly. Just one mouthful provides an explosion of flavour, perfect for a sophisticated social event.
Carrot Rye Crackers
1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
100g rye flour
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
30g sunflour seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 tbsp water
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celcius.
Peel and finely grate the carrot. Wrap the grated carrot in a thin cloth (eg a tea towel), and squeeze to wring out the liquid.
In a bowl, mix the rye flour and oil until there are no lumps of oil.
Add the carrots, rosemary, sunflower seeds, salt and a twist of black pepper to the bowl and mix together well.
Add the water and bring together to form a loose mix. Do not over work the mix.
Line a baking tray and place the mix on top. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the mix thinly, to the thickness of a pound coin. If you want even shaped crackers, roll to a square.
On the tray, use a knife to cut the cracker dough into about 16 pieces (4x4 if rolled to a square). Do not worry about separating the crackers.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for around 20 minutes, but this will vary depending on your cracker size. Test the bottoms are hard to touch and the crackers feel dried out.
Leave to cool.
Date and Miso Butterbean Dip
1 tin butter beans
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp tahini paste
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp white miso paste
30g chopped pitted dates
1/2 tsp finely chopped thyme
Toasted flaked almonds to serve (optional)
In a blender, add the beans, lemon juice, tahini, water, olive oil and miso paste. Blend until smooth.
Add the dates and thyme to a small sauce pan, with 4 tbsp water. Cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring regularly until the dates soften and most of the water as cooked off. Leave this date mix to cool.
Serve the butter bean dip with the date paste on top, and scatter with toasted flaked almonds.