Once a meat-centric household, since Jake has became Produce Manager at The Coop we’ve really learned to enjoy experimenting with the ever-expanding selection of local fruits and vegetables. The growers themselves have been a source of seemingly infinite inspiration, which we’ve bolstered by devouring the writings of our favorite veg-centric chefs.
One chef and writer who has particularly shaped our understanding of produce is Deborah Madison. In her tome, Vegetable Literacy, she provides an outline for unexpected yet harmonious flavor combinations and it has completely changed the way we think about cooking.
Yotam Ottolenghi’s books, Plenty and Plenty More have been another favorite source of inspiration. As we slowly work our way through the recipes – they all look so good, how do you choose?! – we’ve learned to embrace the power of spices thanks to his bold, Middle Eastern-inspired flavors.
For our most recent effort, we reached for one of the few remaining, not-brown, late-late-late winter vegetables. With a multi-colored medley of carrots from Winter Moon Roots as our base, and Madison as our guide, we added depth by sprinkling cumin and coriander over top. For brightness we looked to citrus, which has a long track record of pairing well with carrots, and to bring out some sweetness, we threw everything in a roasting pan with a little local honey. Finally, taking a page from Ottolenghi’s book, we topped it off with a tangy goat yogurt sauce flavored with cumin and lemon.
Not revolutionary flavor combinations, but tried and true… and hard to beat. Served over a bed of greens like arugula or parsley, or on top of a hearty grain like faro or couscous, this is a dish that could easily take center stage in a vegetarian meal. But it would be just as happy as a complementary side dish to a flavorful leg of lamb.
Cumin Roasted Carrots with Yogurt Sauce
1½ pounds carrots, peeled and cut approximately 5 inches long and 1/2 inch wide
+ 1 cup blood orange juice (1-2 blood oranges)
+ 1 tablespoon soy sauce
+ 1 tablespoon honey
+ 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
+ 1/2 tsp ground cumin
+ 1/2 tsp ground coriander
Cumin yogurt sauce:
+ 1 cup goat yogurt
+ 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
+ 2 teaspoons ground cumin
+ pinch kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place carrots in a baking dish. Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over carrots, tossing to make sure the carrots are completely coated.
3. Roast for 30-45 minutes, until carrots are tender and caramelized.
4. While the carrots are cooking, whisk together the yogurt sauce ingredients.
5. Once cooked, plate the carrots – on their own, with greens or a hearty grain – and drizzle yogurt sauce over top. Enjoy!
Note: This recipe originally appeared on RuralIntelligence.com on March 15, 2015. It's been back-dated here on our blog so that it falls, seasonally, in the right place.