29 August 2010

Roasted Cumin Carrots with Pine Nuts

Last week I took a pleasant walk with Rachel to Grand Army Plaza to retrieve some giant peaches, and along the way got seduced by a bundle of multi-colored carrots. The last time I tried purple carrots was in LA, where I mistakenly peeled them, not knowing any better, making them look like boring regular carrots. Since then, I've learned a thing or two and acquired a special vegetable scrubby brush just for the express purpose of not having to peel the color away from my root veg.

The peaches were left in the fridge while I roasted up the beauties, not a speck of dirt left on them after Andy (who once took a food hygiene course for his job) scrubbed the hell out of them. 
I had a strong memory of a cumin roasted carrot dish my sister-in-law Meredith had prepared over a year ago.  However after checking in with her, she didn't remember it very well and referred me to the person who had given her the recipe, who was Rachel (of the walk to the market at the start of this post) who also just vaguely remembered such a thing.  Poor carrots.  In the end, I winged it. I roasted the carrots on high heat with generous amounts of cumin, salt, pepper, and olive oil, and a scattering of pine nuts. I thought I had recalled something about carrots and avocado, so topped the warm veg with buttery green slices, though the finished result of the carrots were so sweetly delectable they could easily do without the addition. And yet, most everything seems better topped with avocado.    
Roasted Cumin Carrots with Pine Nuts

large bunch of baby carrots (18-20 carrots)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 heaping tsp cumin powder (or toasted cumin seeds, bashed in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder)
salt and pepper
1 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley or cilantro (optional)
1/2 ripe avocado, sliced (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut tops off from carrots and scrub them very well with a stiff vegetable brush, then dry completely with a kitchen towel. If carrots are different sizes, half lengthwise larger carrots so they are somewhat uniform. Place in roasting pan large enough for carrots to sit in single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and then rub oil over carrots with your hands to make sure all are entirely covered. Sprinkle with cumin, salt and pepper, then toss in pine nuts. Roast on high heat for 30 minutes until tender, golden brown and slightly crisped around edges. If using, once you plate the carrots, place 2-3 wedges of avocado atop each mound of carrots and sprinkle with parsley or cilantro.  

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