This recipe can be made with regular, conventional orange carrots, but spring-dug rainbow carrots from the farmer’s market are a colorful celebration of time and place like no other. Seasoned with a pistachio dukkah (an Egyptian nut-herb-spice blend traditionally made instead with hazelnuts, plus sesame seeds, coriander, mint, cumin, and salt and pepper), the flavors are to once unexpected and familiar. Crème fraîche with its creamy, sour finish is the icing on this proverbial carrot cake. Fresh microgreens complete the dish, offering more visual and textural contrast.
Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife; measuring spoons; food processor or spice grinder; rubber spatula; rimmed sheet pan; offset metal spatula or tongs
¼ cup roasted, shelled pistachios
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2-3 small bunches rainbow carrots (approximately 24 carrots)
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup crème fraîche
1. In a food processor or spice grinder blend the sukkah ingredients until a fine crumb forms. Set aside.
ILOC tip: pulse the pistachios and spices in the food processor or spice grinder so that the dukkah does not become a fine powder, but a fine crumb.
2. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
3. Slice the carrots in half lengthwise or leave whole, depending on size. Leave ¼-inch of the stems, if desired. Place them on a rimmed sheet pan and toss well to coat with olive oil and sprinkle generously with kosher salt. Then turn each carrot that was halved cut side-down. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until tender and caramelized on the cut side where applicable.
4. Spoon the crème fraîche onto a platter and spread with the back of the spoon to create a pillow for the carrots. Nestle the carrots into the edge of the crème fraîche and sprinkle generously with the dukkah. Add microgeens to garnish, as desired.
5. Serve immediately. Alternatively, the crème fraîche and roasted carrots can be prepared in advance and the dish can be composed and served cold.
Makes 4 side dish or 2 main dish servings.