Citrusy sumac and herbaceous za’atar roasted carrots with crunchy toasted pecans and a creamy tahini-yogurt sauce.
Prep Time5 minutesmins
Cook Time30 minutesmins
Total Time35 minutesmins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish, Vegetarian
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Author: Kayla Purcell
For the Roasted Carrots
2tbspextra virgin olive oil
For the Tahini-Yogurt Sauce
½teaspoonsalt to taste
2-4tablespoonswater, as needed to thin sauce
Roasting the Carrots
Heat oven to 400°F
Wash (unpeeled) carrots with a vegetable brush, trim off any dry tips, and trim green tops to about 2 inches. Cut the thickest carrots in half to match the smaller carrots for even cooking.
Brush carrots with oil and sprinkle with spices on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes at 400°F. About 10 minutes in, rotate the carrots for an even browning. Check the tenderness of the largest carrot with a fork; the carrot should be tender but not mushy.
Toast the pecans on a separate baking sheet in the oven 5 minutes while the carrots are roasting. Chop pecans once cooled.
For the Tahini-Yogurt Sauce
Add the tahini, yogurt, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, zest, and salt to a bowl and mix well. Taste the sauce and adjust for tang with lemon juice and salt, as desired. Add water (a tablespoon at a time) for a looser consistency.
To serve, spread about half of the sauce directly onto the plate and place the carrots in a pile on top. Drizzle with more sauce and sprinkle with pecans.
Optional: Add carrot top greenery for presentation.
Make sure your carrots are all around a similar size. If you have a few skinny carrots and a few large, thicker carrots, cut the bigger carrots in half or even into quarters so everything roasts evenly. Thinner carrots will cook more quickly.
Use Greek yogurt in place of regular yogurt for a little extra protein. You may need to add more water to keep that looser consistency.
Add more veggies: Any similarly sized root vegetable or whole head brassica will roast similarly to carrots. Mix in cauliflower, parsnips, brussels sprouts, or rutabaga to cook with the carrots. Toss them with the oil and spices and cook for the same amount of time.
Vegan or Dairy Free: These carrots are just as delicious with or without the yogurt tahini sauce. However, a great vegan option is simply hummus with a bit of za'atar sprinkled over the top. The chickpea base adds good protein to the dish.
More Protein: Use Greek yogurt instead of regular yogurt. You may need to add 2-4 more tbsp of water to keep the sauce at a looser consistency.
Crunchy garnishes: any toasted or candied nuts, fried shallots, crispy grains, or even bread crumbs add a nice texture
Fresh herb garnishes of mint, cilantro, fresh parsley, thyme, or basil.
Sprinkle with cheese: feta, goat cheese, or parmesan play best with the spices used in this recipe, but feel free to experiment and use what you’ve got in the fridge.
Fruit toppers: pomegranate, mandarin or valencia orange segments, black cherries, currants make a gorgeous presentation