It’s been a while, eh? Since summer started we’ve been creating a lot of salads and fresh bowls. Although this bowl features warming Moroccan-spices, the addition of fresh veggies and a yogurt sauce make it a lovely and filling summertime meal. Roast the whole bag of carrots and host a dinner party or eat them all week long. They’re quite nice dipped in hummus, as well.
Instead of meticulously measuring every spice, try your hand at free-styling your measurements (using the recipe as a guideline). This will give you practice at tossing things together quickly and tailoring flavors to your palate. It also means fewer utensils to wash. Try to get a sense of the potency of spices — for instance, you don’t want a whole tablespoon of cayenne unless you like not being able to feel your face. Cumin is a great flavor enhancer, so you can be liberal with it. Nutmeg can be intense. If the bowl smells good, you’ve probably got a winning combination. Practice makes perfect, so don’t get discouraged!
1 bag Trader Joe’s Colorful Carrots (or 2 lbs. any kind of carrot)
2 Tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
1.5 Tbsp ground cumin
1.5 Tbsp smoked paprika (plain paprika is fine)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 dash ground cloves and/or ginger, if you have them
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground sumac, if you have it
A few dashes cayenne, if you like spice
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Unearth your roasting pan. A cookie sheet or pizza pan will do fine, as well.
2. Wash your carrots, hack off the stems/ends, and slice them. No need to peel them — just scrub them until they’re clean.
Note: Try to slice them on the deep diagonal — instead of angling your knife perpendicular to your carrot, turn it so it’s only about 15 degrees off from the carrot. This creates large, oblong slices that look more sophisticated. It’s a multi-purpose slicing technique worth practicing.
3. Toss your carrots in a bowl with the spices. Drizzle in the coconut oil and toss again to coat.
If you added your spices freehand, here’s a good rule of thumb: your carrots should look coated, but without huge crumbs of oil-soaked spices. If your carrots aren’t uniformly reddened from the paprika, toss them again. Still not thoroughly coated? Add some more spice mix.
4. Spread the carrots in an even, single layer on your cookie sheet. If you’re worried about them sticking, line your sheet or drizzle a little more oil over the carrots. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper, if you’d like.
5. Roast on the top rack for 20 minutes, tossing once halfway through.
6. Serve in a salad or with a protein option of your choice with the Harissa yogurt sauce (recipe below).
Harissa Yogurt Sauce | serves 2-4
Harissa is a Moroccan spice combination, usually a paste, that’s basically the ketchup of North Africa. It’s amazing — spicy and bold and perfect for yogurt sauces. If you can’t find Harissa paste or mix, use the combination suggested below.
1 6 oz. container plain Greek yogurt
1.5 tsp harissa mix or paste
1 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp paprika
1 dash cayenne
1 tsp cumin
1 lemon, juiced
1 clove garlic, grated or minced
1. Add all ingredients to a bowl. Mix thoroughly or blend with an immersion blender.
2. If it’s too thick, squeeze in another lemon or stream in a little olive oil.
We served our roasted carrots with spring mix, tomato wedges, and grilled chicken. It’s a hearty meal, but not heavy. Enjoy!