Roasted Carrots with Harissa Yogurt and Mint

Roasted Carrots with Harissa and Mint

Is there a more versatile vegetable than the humble carrot? You can find them juiced, grated into slaws, sliced for salads, folded into cakes,  shredded for muffins, served raw with dips, roasted, boiled, sauteed, pureed, and carved in miniature in baby carrot factories.  Every one of these preparations has a place in my kitchen, but nothing brings out carrots’ natural sweetness better than roasting them in a piping hot oven.

Last year for Easter, I did up a platter of roasted carrots seasoned with Middle Eastern spices and piled onto creamy yogurt. I’d venture to say it was the star of the Easter buffet and I’ve been tinkering with the recipe ever since. Today’s version has the added interest of harissa stirred into the yogurt. It’s a North African spice paste that, like Thai sriracha, Indian curry, or Mexican salsa, is a game changer for flavor with no effort at all.

Roasted Carrots

Now, about those carrots….everyone knows they’re good for you. But did you know that just one medium carrot provides double your daily needs for vitamin A, all at just 25 little calories? Plus, two grams of fiber and a meaningful dose of potassium as well.

As far as what variety to buy, I get the appeal of baby carrots — so easy and one of the healthiest, kid-friendly convenience foods out there — but they don’t hold a candle, taste-wise, to the carrots you find at your local market, a farmers’ market, or in a CSA box. Look for carrots that are vibrant in color, a signal of freshness, since the pigment fades over time.

For another favorite carrot recipe, check out this Creamy Carrot Mac and Cheese or head over to Cooking Light for their Carrot Cake Pancakes.

Roasted Carrots with Harissa Yogurt and Mint

If you buy organic carrots, scrubbing should get them sufficiently clean. If your carrots are conventionally grown, be sure to peel them instead. These are delicious alongside your favorite roast meat or poultry, but also tasty as part of a vegetarian meal.
Course Vegetable Side
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 12 medium carrots (ideally with the greens still attached)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch for the yogurt, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large lemon, divided
  • 3/4 cup lowfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon harissa paste (more if you like things extra spicy) See note
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Peel or scrub the carrots. If carrots have greens attached, cut off all but about 1/2 inch of the carrot tops. Put the carrots on a large baking sheet.

  3. In a small bowl, stir together the paprika, turmeric, fennel, cumin, coriander, 1/4 teaspoon salt, olive oil, and 1 tablespoon of juice from the lemon. Drizzle over the carrots and use your hands to roll the carrots in the spice mixture until evenly coated.
  4. Roast the carrots until they are just barely tender, 20 to 30 minutes depending on thickness. You should be able to pierce the fat end of the carrots with a fork with some resistance. They will continue to cook a bit after they're out of the oven.

  5. Whisk together the yogurt, harissa, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Take the half lemon and zest the peel right into the bowl. Stir. Spread onto a serving plate or small platter and top with the roasted carrots. Scatter the mint over the top.

Recipe Notes

Harissa is a spicy condiment sold in jars in some supermarkets, Whole Foods, and many specialty stores.

Roasted Carrots

Comments

04.20.2015 at 10:20 PM #

Tracy

They look/sound delicious. What oven temp? Thanks!

04.20.2015 at 10:20 PM #

katiemorford

Yikes! Thanks for the heads up. Just added. Most appreciated.

04.21.2015 at 6:13 AM #

Katherine Baker

These look AMAZING. I had a similar dish at Bobby Flay’s restaurant, Gato, and never forgot it. Now I can recreate it at home! Thanks!

04.21.2015 at 6:13 AM #

katiemorford

Going head to head with Bobby Flay. No pressure 🙂

Thanks for the comment. Hope you like them.

04.21.2015 at 9:01 AM #

Cynthia Jones

Hi Katie,
The carrots look amazing & will definitely cook some up. Sadly, I was unable to use any of the links for the dishes you showed at the end of the blog w/links. Any ideas for how someone who received “forbidden” messages when tried links can access them?
Your not-so-techy-friend,
Cynthia

04.21.2015 at 9:01 AM #

katiemorford

Strange. I will look into it. In the meantime, the first two you can find by typing them into the search box on my blog. The third is over on Cooking Light. Hopefully I can figure out what is happening. P.S. I’m not so techie either.

04.21.2015 at 9:01 AM #

katiemorford

Ahhh….I realize you were talking about the sea of recipe links below my post. I thought you were talking about links in the post. Stay tuned!

04.21.2015 at 10:51 AM #

Cheryl

Hi Katie: I love everything about this recipe. Roasted carrots are also my younger son’s favorite vegetable. I’ve dribbled harissa on carrots before but never tried to massage them onto the carrots pre-roasting. I bet it lends even more intense flavor.

You inspire me!

04.21.2015 at 10:51 AM #

katiemorford

Makes my day!

04.21.2015 at 11:04 AM #

Katie @ Mom to Mom Nutrition

I make carrots 2x a week for a dinnertime side dish— my toddler can’t get enough! I pinned your recipe to make with pork tenderloin this Thursday 🙂

04.21.2015 at 11:04 AM #

katiemorford

Thanks Katie. Your little one may even like this served “veggies and dip” style rather than spread under the carrots. Just a thought!

04.21.2015 at 1:13 PM #

Rebecca

Holy wow! These look beyond delish! I want to drop everything & run to the store to buy ingredients. yum

04.21.2015 at 6:57 PM #

Katie @ 24 Carrot Life

Such a gorgeous presentation! I always cut my carrots but now I’m going to roast them whole.

04.21.2015 at 6:57 PM #

katiemorford

Hi Katie

Love the name of your blog…so of course you had to come check out these carrots. Roasting whole makes for less work and a pretty presentation. Thanks for the comment.

04.22.2015 at 6:06 AM #

Amber @ Homemade Nutrition

This recipe looks amazing! I love roasted veggies and this looks like such a great new way to really boost the flavor – can’t wait to try it!

04.22.2015 at 6:06 AM #

katiemorford

The recipe also works deliciously with cauliflower as well.

04.22.2015 at 10:44 AM #

aida mollenkamp

This recipe is so up my alley!

04.22.2015 at 10:44 AM #

katiemorford

Thanks Aida. Loving Salt and Wind, by the way. Hope it’s all going well!

04.22.2015 at 1:08 PM #

Dana

So many of my favorite things in one recipe! Really need that harissa yogurt in my life — sound delicious!

04.22.2015 at 1:08 PM #

katiemorford

That harissa yogurt is good on so many things and so easy to make.

04.22.2015 at 4:11 PM #

sammy oliver

I can’t wait to try looks amazing!!!

04.22.2015 at 4:11 PM #

katiemorford

Oh good! P.S. I need to come see you 🙂

04.23.2015 at 12:07 PM #

Steph @NutrishusRD

This sounds great and I have harissa on my ‘to-make’ list!

04.23.2015 at 12:07 PM #

katiemorford

Whoa, I’ve never made harissa. Only bought it. Ambitious.

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