Carrot and cumin is a flavor pairing worth tattooing into your brain. A delicious marriage earthy sweetness and warm spice, the duo brings an aromatic flourish to the simplest of dishes (think: roasted vegetables and pureed soups). Here, dressed simply in olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper, the homely carrot is roasted at high heat until it becomes tender, attaining a deep, smoky caramelization that is steered savory by the cumin spice. Whether devoured straight from the baking sheet, served as a side dish, or pureed into a creamy soup, cumin-scented carrots will always treat the tastebuds.
ROASTED CARROTS WITH CUMIN*
[Recipe from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything]
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 35 minutes
1 to 1 ½ pounds baby carrots, green tops tripped, or full-sized carrots, cut into sticks
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds (you can also use ground cumin)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Put the carrots on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil; sprinkle with the cumin and salt and pepper. Roast until the carrots are tender and browning, about 25 minutes. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
*The cumin-scented carrots can also be pureed into a deliciously silky soup...
ROASTED CARROT & CUMIN SOUP
Prepare recipe for Roasted Carrots with Cumin, doubling the measurements. In a large pot heat olive oil and add 1 diced onion (about 1 cup). Sauté until onion is soft and beginning to brown. Add 2 – 2 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth, the roasted carrots, plus 2 tsp ground coriander and additional ground cumin, as preferred. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and use an immersion blender or food processor to puree the soup to a smooth consistency. Thin with more chicken broth if soup is too thick. Stir well and garnish with more freshly ground black pepper and walnuts.