Oh my goodness. We need to talk about carrots today.
First, let’s have a little story. When I was little and growing up in Edmonton (if you want to experience a true Canadian winter, visit here), one of my best friends lived across the back alley from my family. Amanda and I were besties at birth and our younger sisters were too.
We played soccer together, went to school together and played dress-up together. We spent summers splashing around in paddling pools, hanging off of swing sets in our backyards and going on bike rides until our parents made us come inside for dinner. Then it was back outside for a bonfire in Amanda’s backyard with marshmallow roasting and s’mores. For time reference, this was happening in the 90s, the pre- iPhones and social media era when other forms of entertainment existed. I think MSN Messenger started to become a thing when we were about 13, which we accessed using a dial-up internet connection.
We didn’t just eat s’mores at Amanda’s house. Her mum, Eman, is Egyptian and one of the most amazing hostesses I know. Not only can she cook and host a wicked party, but she’s also an exceptionally talented gardener. She’s won all sorts of awards in city-wide gardening competitions, and I don’t think there was ever a time where I’d walk into their house and not see a bouquet of some sort on their kitchen island.
In addition to flowers of all sorts, Amanda’s mum had (and still has) a large portion of her gardening space dedicated to vegetables, and not being a foodie at the time, I had nowhere near the appreciation for this that I do now. There was everything from cabbage, cucumbers and kohlrabi to radishes, rhubarb and romaine lettuce. She’d spend hours out there on the weekends weeding, trimming and picking vegetables to be used in meals. Eman, my dad and some other friends would have canning parties where they’d can beets and make antipasto – two things I thought were vile at the time but would be all over given the chance to participate right now.
Back then I wasn’t a super adventurous eater, and while pickled vegetables definitely weren’t my idea of a good time, eating freshly-picked carrots out of Eman’s garden certainly was. There’s something about pulling a carrot out of the ground, leaves and all, washing it up and biting into it that you just can’t get from a carrot that comes in a bag at the grocery store, and certainly not from a baby carrot that resembles a bullet. These beauts were the real deal.
This past weekend I felt inspired by the organic rainbow carrots at Whole Foods to get a taste of true, local, (sort of) straight from the garden carrots. (This is getting to be an obscenely expensive source of inspiration, but it’s all done in the name of health.) My plans for them were simple, and what resulted was nothing short of unreal.
As is the case with many vegetables (like the Brussels sprout extravaganza I shared on Monday), sometimes a simple roast in olive oil with fresh herbs turns them into the star of a meal. For these carrots, I trimmed the leaves off and gave them a good scrub (no peeling). After a very light brushing with olive oil and apple cider vinegar, they got a sprinkle of freshly chopped dill and parsley, and a dusting of flaky sea smoked Maldon sea salt and black pepper.
While they roasted away in the oven (only 25 mins!) I whipped up a really simple sauce of garlic, tahini and lemon juice in my food processor. Once the carrots were ready, I drizzled them in the sauce and decorated them with sprouted pumpkin seeds and pomegranate. The taste was out of this flippin’ world.
Guys, if there’s one dish you make this weekend, make it these. You’ll want to eat the entire platter yourself… and I won’t judge you for it, I promise.Print
Roasted Carrots with Tahini Garlic Sauce
Naturally sweet and vibrant in colour, these Roasted Carrots with Tahini Garlic Sauce are nutrition-packed powerhouses you’ll want on all of your holiday menus.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 servings
- Category: side
- Method: roast
- 2lbs carrots, scrubbed and trimmed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp each parsley and dill
- sea salt and black pepper
For the sauce (you will have lots leftover):
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
For the toppings:
- 3 tbsp pomegranate arils
- 2 tbsp pepitas
- freshly cracked black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lay the carrots out on the baking sheet in a single layer.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and vinegar. Using a basting brush, brush the carrots with the mixture. Sprinkle the herbs, sea salt and black pepper on top.
- Roast the carrots for 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the garlic tahini sauce by pureeing all ingredients in a food processor. Note that tahini comes in varying thicknesses, so add water to thin as needed. The final result should have the consistency of yogurt.
- When the carrots are ready, transfer them to a serving platter. Pour some of the sauce over the carrots and sprinkle with pomegranate, pepitas and black pepper. Serve immediately.
Note: Leftover tahini garlic sauce can be stored in a sealed glass jar for up to 1 week and used as a dip or spread.
So tell me…
- Do you have a vegetable garden? What are you growing? If you have any excess, you know who to call. ?