Updated: Jun 23, 2021
I was quite shocked by the deep red carrots that appear in the Indian bazaar every winter. I have since learnt that they are a local seasonal carrots that are grown in Northern India. They are so much better than the regular orange carrots, crunchier, more intense flavor and nore nutritious. I wanted to do something with these carrots. More on red carrots here.
This wonderful recipe brings together roasted carrots with Mediterranean spices. The sweetness of the roasted carrots are balanced by the spicy harissa aïoli and the hazelnut dukkah adds a touch of luxury to the dish. This is a cookbook that I do not go to often enough, one of the problems of having too many cookbooks, and one that I should cook from more. I love every recipe that I have made so far, the flavors are fantastic and the dishes are always well received by guests. For more recipes from this cookbook click here.
3 tablespoons whole hazelnuts, skin on
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, white or black, or a mix
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Fine-grain sea salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
12 skinny carrots, trimmed of their tops and scrubbed clean
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
3/4 cup (180 g) Harissa Aïoli (recipe follows)
Harissa aïoli Ingredients 1/4 cup aïoli or mayonnaise
2-4 tablespoons ready harissa paste or sauce, or to taste
To make the harissa aïoli
Mix together well. Taste and adjust flavor to your liking. I prefer it a touch on the spicy side to the balance the sweetness of the roasted carrots.
To make the dukkah: In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the hazelnuts until lightly golden and aromatic, shaking the pan often, about 2 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a small bowl and set aside. Repeat the process with the sesame seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns and cumin seeds, toasting each separately, then allowing them to cool separately. Let cool completely.
In a mortar and pestle or in a small food processor, process the spices and nuts into an unevenly textured mix. I pulse each of the spices separately so I can control the coarseness of the nots and spices, the hazelnuts, half left whole and the other half finely ground, the peppercorns, coriander seeds and cumin ground cowardly. I prefer the coarse ground spices so that you get the occasion pop of flavor from each spice when eaten with the carrots. Season generously with salt.
NOTE: The dukkah can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days.
To roast the carrots:
On a sheet pan, toss the carrots with a light coating of the olive oil and honey, some of the harissa aïoli so then season with salt and pepper. Roast the carrots, turning once, until browned and tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Arrange the carrots on a serving platter and sprinkle with as much dukkah as you'd like. Drizzle some aïoli on top or pass at the table.