I spent my last days in St. Gallen, Switzerland walking through its tranquil streets, silently saying my good-byes. At the top of Guisanstrasse, I came across this woman. Fully alert, she was leaning in expectantly towards someone who was not there. Her hands were clasped fearlessly behind her against the folds of her bronze dress. Just when it seemed that I knew her every angle, she surprised me.
What’s your approach to cooking? Do you prefer to improvise or carefully follow recipes? For me, it’s a mix. If making a dish for the first time or for special occasions, I plan ahead to ensure I have the called for ingredients on hand. Then, follow the recipe to a “t.” Like many, I also have a repetoire of well-loved, off-the-cuff standard dishes. Sometimes though, I enjoy foraging through the garden, fridge, and cupboards, combining some of what I find to create a new recipe.
Today, colourful heirloom carrots picked up recently from a local farmer’s market caught my eye. Wanting to make use of some pomegranate seeds, coriander and walnuts leftover from making the Spicy, Beet, Leek & Walnut Salad in Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty (one of my favourite cookbooks) yesterday, I came up with the following quick and tasty Roasted Heirloom Carrots with Walnuts and Pomegranate recipe.
6-8 medium heirloom carrots
1 tbsp grainy mustard
1 tbsp cane sugar
1 tsp cumin seeds, lightly toasted, then ground
1/2 tsp chili flakes
3 tbsp virgin olive oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh coriander
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted, then coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400F. Trim tops from carrots, and scrub carrots well. Place carrots in a glass baking dish. Mix the grainy mustard, sugar, cumin seeds, chili flakes and olive oil together. Drizzle the mixture over the carrots, tossing to coat the carrots. Season to preference with salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast in the preheated oven on the middle rack for 20 minutes or until the carrots are tender-crisp and lightly caramelized.
In a ceramic or glass bowl, mix the yogurt, chopped coriander, lemon juice, minced garlic and a pinch of salt together.
To serve, place the spiced roasted carrots on a plate, dress with the yogurt mixture, top with the pomegranate seeds and toasted walnuts. Accompany the carrot dish with Naan bread.