SWEET ROASTED CARROTS WHOLE (OR MASHED)

Here’s a versatile recipe for sweet roasted carrots with most of carrot’s flavour friends – caraway, cumin, watercress, orange, garlic and the sweet’n sour of pomegranate molasses.  When watercress is out of season, use dill or coriander.  Use a sweet Myer lemon, if oranges aren’t available.  Take the recipe one step further to create a wonderful mash to serve warm, or alternatively serve at room temperature as a dip, or as my neighbour recommended when taste testing, spread over toasted sour dough topped with feta.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

750g organic carrots or 2 bunches Dutch carrots, tops trimmed 

3 green garlic bulb and stem, (or 2 garlic cloves)

3 teaspoons caraway seeds

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

½ bunch of watercress, or coriander or dill, leaves plucked

Dressing:

3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice 

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).  

Spread carrots and garlic bulb and stems over a roasting tray. Evenly drizzle over the oil and toss to coat the carrots.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Roast for 20 minutes.  Drizzle the orange juice and scatter the caraway seeds over the carrots.   Roast a further 10 minutes or until carrots are tender.

Meanwhile, place all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well to combine.

If serving carrots whole as a warm salad, transfer carrots and garlic to a platter.  Scatter over the watercress leaves (or coriander or dill leaves) and drizzle over dressing. 

If making a mash, remove the tough outer layer of roasted garlic and place the soft tender interior with hot carrots, watercress (or coriander or dill) leaves, and dressing in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until smooth. Season to taste.

Note:  For chilli lovers, add a pinch of chilli flakes, or ½ teaspoon of harissa paste (available in tubes at good supermarkets or delis) with the dressing ingredients. 

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Mark Brancatisano