Weird color carrot season is upon us, which is how I know when carrots are in season. Carrots are one of those vegetables that I always have on hand but I hardly ever make them the centerpiece of a recipe. They go into stews and stir fries and onto roasting trays full of other root vegetables but today they are getting their 15 minutes of fame.
Roasting carrots is the best way to prepare them. I almost said in my opinion at the end of that last sentence but its not my opinion, its a fact. Roasting carrots brings out their sweetness, caramelizes the outside of the veg giving them a little bit of a crispy exterior while their centers stay delightfully soft.
You don’t have to serve these with the lentil salad, but I wanted to make the carrots the star of a main dish not just the usual place as a side dish. If you want to keep carrots on the side, by all means, just follow the roasting instructions and forego the rest.
As for the warm lentil salad, feel free to use canned lentils to make this the speediest main dish ever. In the vinaigrette, I use a hot sauce called Harissa- if you aren’t a spice lover then you can omit this. If you don’t have harissa, then sriracha or any other hot sauce will be the perfect substitute!
Spiced Roasted Carrots + Warm Lentil Salad
Serves 2 as a Main Dish/4 as a Side
For the Carrots
1 Pound of Carrots, Peeled
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
2 tsp Ras El Hanout (either store bought or my recipe)
For the Lentil Salad
2 Cups Cooked Lentils*
1/2 shallot minced
1 tsp Harissa
1 Tbsp Champagne Vinegar (or White Wine Vinegar)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
Pinch of salt and pepper
1/4 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley, Chopped
1/4 Cup Pomegranate Arils (optional but they’re the bomb)
Preheat oven to 425* F.
Place your peeled carrots onto a roasting pan. Drizzle the olive oil on top of the carrots and sprinkle the salt, pepper and Ras el Hanout on top of them. Toss with your hands to evenly coat the carrots. Place in preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until the carrots are starting to get caramelized on the outside and are soft all the way through.
Meanwhile, cook your lentils (unless you’re starting with canned lentils) according to package directions. While everything is cooking, make your vinaigrette in the bowl you are going to serve in for easy clean up. Just combine all vinaigrette ingredients (shallot, vinegar, oilve oil, dijon, harissa, garlic, salt and pepper) and whisk to combine.
When lentils are done cooking, drain them and toss them with the vinaigrette while they are still warm. Add parsley and toss to combine.
When carrots are done, just place them atop the lentils, garnish with more parsley and pomegranate arils and enjoy!
* For the lentils, feel free to use canned or cook your own. I used black lentils here, nuts green, brown or French will all do the trick. Don’t use red or yellow because they just turn into mush! If you are starting with canned, warm them up in a sauce pan then drain them and proceed with the recipe.
Let me know if you liked this recipe and if there is anything you’d like to see me make!