Roasted Carrots with Tahini-Harissa Sauce

Time is rolling right by me and as much as I try to keep it still, I feel like it’s racing faster than I can keep up. Apparently it’s normal given the season in life I’m in: small kids and a never-ending to do list. I’m not complaining, just lamenting over the slow decrease of precious “me” time, when silence reigns and my hands get to be free to do as they please rather than be tied up in some serious multitasking. Imagine holding a delicious infant, balancing a cutting board on the counter and slicing an apple so that the older kids can munch on something to keep their little mouths occupied and out of trouble. The blessings. 

It’s taken a few kids for me to come to the realization that I need to create my time. By habit, I like to do things on a whim. I’m the non-planned, always-late type. Not a virtue, just a reality. It’s worked quite well for the past twenty-some years, allowing for carefree spontaneity and a laid-back approach. Things just fell into place, and they still do, except now they come tangled with stress. So I’m still working on my resolve to improve my time management skills (from two new years’ ago)

Despite it all, I’m still cooking and photographing, I just don’t get to share as quickly. So let’s pick up where we left off and talk about these carrots. I got this beautiful bunch in a CSA box. Their freshness was incredible and their smell intoxicating; sweet and aromatic. They were probably the most perfect carrots I’ve ever gotten. I knew they needed something special to bring out their best side, other than enjoying them raw. I roasted them to bring out their natural sweetness and topped them with a spicy, creamy sauce. A truly remarkable side dish. I served them along with a Mediterranean tilapia, which we’ll talk about soon, and they complemented each other beautifully. This recipe comes together in no time, which is especially beneficial when you are the non-planned, laid-back type.

I did just realize we are 3 months into 2014. So, happy belated 2014, and tu bishvat, and president’s day, and soon-to-be Purim!

Roasted Carrots with Tahini-Harissa Sauce

1 bunch carrots, well-scrubbed*

extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

parsley, for garnish

for the sauce

1 tablespoon tahini

1 teaspoon harissa

2-3 tablespoon cold water

a spritz of lemon juice

Preheat over to 400F. On a baking sheet, place the carrots and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the olive oil and toss with your hands to coat the carrots. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until the carrots are nicely caramelized and a fork easily pokes through.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the tahini and harissa. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach a nice creamy consistency. Add the lemon juice, stir and set a aside.

To serve, place the carrots, drizzle the sauce and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve immediately. 

*Carrots at peak freshness are what really makes the recipe simple and delicious. The roasting will burst the flavors through, so use the best carrots you can find.