Gluten free, Vegetarian
The trick to turning humble carrots into a delicious dish is in the roasting, which gives them a rich, caramelised quality, balanced by plenty of fresh salad leaves and a tart yoghurt drizzle. The sesame seed and spice blend is based on a popular Middle Eastern spice mix called za’atar: vibrant, fragrant and crunchy.
For this recipe we used a mix of heirloom carrots for stunning effect but the everyday orange variety works just as well. This makes a generous side-dish or can be made into more of a meal by adding some protein such as chickpeas or smoked tofu.
Ingredients (serves 4 as a side)
1 kg carrots, tops removed and cleaned very well
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp coriander seeds, ground
2 tsp cumin seeds, ground
3 cloves purple garlic, minced
1 mild chilli, finely chopped
1/4 cup yoghurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 big handfuls of mixed baby salad leaves
and herbs like mint, coriander and
parsley, carefully washed and dried
1. Preheat oven 200°C.
2. Cut the large carrots into long, evenly sized batons and leave any small carrots whole: the idea is to cook them at about the same pace. Arrange in a large baking tray but do not crowd: if there are too many carrots on your tray use a second one. Toss with 1.5 tbsp of the olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper then add 2 tbsp of the sesame seeds, thyme, coriander, cumin, 2/3 of the garlic garlic and all the chilli and toss again to evenly coat the carrots.
3. Put carrots in the oven and roast for about 40 minutes, pulling them out to toss midway through that time. The carrots are ready when they start to brown and have a slightly wrinkly appearance. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes at room temperature.
4. While the carrots are roasting make the yoghurt drizzle by combining yoghurt with lemon juice and the remaining olive oil and garlic. Mix until smooth then add salt and pepper to taste.
5. When you are ready to eat place the carrots in a large bowl and add red wine vinegar, some pepper and most of the salad leaves and herbs. Toss to combine, check seasoning and arrange either on a serving platter or individual plates. Drizzle over the yoghurt and garnish with remaining sesame seeds and greens.