Friends often ask me how I come up with new recipe ideas. Sometimes it happens simply because there’s something in the fridge that needs to get used! I will say it helps that I own a lot of cookbooks, and I always have at least a few cookbooks borrowed from the library, so I read a lot of recipes. This way, I learn about good flavor combinations and different ways I can use ingredients.
I devised this recipe when we were headed to Tanglewood for opening night. We joined many of our close friends, and I was one of those tasked with bringing a main course. I needed something to go along with grilled salmon (a picnic favorite of ours because it’s perfectly good at room temperature and can be eaten easily with just a fork).
In the refrigerator, I found a bag of multi-colored organic baby carrots that I had bought a couple weeks earlier, but hadn’t used, and about 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt left from another recipe I had made. I wanted my side dish to be easy to eat with a fork, so I decided to roast the carrots and let them cool before tossing with a yogurt-based dressing. This also would be good warm, or, as one of my friends suggested, with different herbs, such as chopped mint, especially if served with lamb.
Even though I used baby carrots, you could certainly use regular carrots, peeled and cut to size. You could also make this vegan with a non-dairy yogurt. I’ve also given some ideas of variations I might try the next time, to give some other ideas, depending on what you might have in your house!
ROASTED CARROTS WITH YOGURT
12 ounces carrots, either baby carrots or whole carrots peeled and cut into 2-inch-by-1/2-inch sticks
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, or use fresh ground pepper or maybe try smoked paprika
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, or non-dairy yogurt for a vegan version
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, or try mint, tarragon, thyme, or basil
1 teaspoon real maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, or try cider vinegar or lemon juice
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Place the carrots in a baking dish in a single layer as much as possible. If there are some on top, that’s fine. They should fit rather snugly so that the juices from the carrots don’t burn on the bottom of the pan too much. Sprinkle with salt and Aleppo pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
Roast for 30 minutes, or until they can be pierced easily with a fork but are not too soft.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. (You could also try dressing the carrots while warm. Because I was taking this to Tanglewood, I needed it not to be a hot side dish)
Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Place the carrots into a medium bowl, along with any accumulated juices and the oil from cooking. Pour the yogurt dressing over the carrots and toss to combine. Serve cold or at room temperature.
For variations, try other herbs, or cider vinegar or lemon juice instead of the sherry vinegar.