Carrots with Black Garlic & Herb Yoghurt

Roasted Carrots with Black Garlic & Herb Yoghurt 3

I think I’m with a lot of people on the fact that I prefer carrots in raw form. Boiled or steamed ones can be mushy and bland, even the good ones! There’s something so satisfying about that cold, crisp snap of a carefully cut stick along with the slightly green aroma they tend to have when raw.

Roasted Carrots with Black Garlic & Herb Yoghurt

That said, you can tell me to eat any vegetable once roasted and chances are high that I’ll love it – cauliflower and Brussels sprouts being prime examples. In the UK especially we seem to have resigned those veggies to the ‘boil-to-death’ bitterness which makes them infamously unpopular with children. Roasting helps to caramelise and enhance the natural sugars plus it adds more texture. They become soft and buttery inside with burnished, crispy exteriors.

As carrots are naturally sweet, roasting makes them even more candy-like (no wonder carrots are so f-ing good in cakes! ….Now I’m feeling a strong need to make a roasted carrot cake ASAP). This sweetness can get a bit overwhelming and monotonous as a side so I added a yogurty dressing for contrast. It’s creamy and cooling thanks to the herbs with nuttiness from toasted pumpkin seeds. It swings back into a more savoury spectrum with a special little ingredient: Black garlic.

Roasted Carrots with Black Garlic & Herb Yoghurt 2

Black garlic has become a lot more easily available thanks to the publication of the new Ottolenghi book, Plenty More, which calls for it in a few recipes. My mum and I hadn’t seen it in the supermarkets before reading through that book but now, thank goodness, it’s stocked in Sainsburys! The garlic isn’t raw, it’s slow roasted and milder with an added bonus of not giving you garlic breath. Cos mate, no matter how much parsley or lemon you eat after raw garlic touches your tongue, you’d still be tasting it for hours.

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Tomato and Chargrilled Pepper Soup with feta and bacon

Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup-0946

I think charring vegetables has to be one of my favourite, simple kitchen tips. It’s ridonc easy to do and adds that smoky, barbecue flavour to dishes which I looooove. Seriously, I add sweet smoked paprika to anything and everything that I can (this has been bad when I’ve mistakenly used HOT paprika and made food mouth-burningly spicy).

The two main veg I’ve charred before have been bell peppers, which are an obvious one, for things like salads, frittata and focaccia. Secondly aubergine which slumps into meltingly soft and silky strands – at home we use this in a thai dish: stirred into stir-fried ground pork with lime dressing, fresh coriander and noodles. It’s also the main component in baba ganoush! But I could imagine chargrilled bell peppers or aubergine being excellent additions to other dips (smoky bell pepper hummus!? YUH).

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Lemon Meringue Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches (GF)

Lemon Meringue Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches 177

I used to absolutely hate lemon desserts (obv the tables have turned now). I distinctly remember this fact becuase of the lemon meringue pie we used to occasionally get for dessert at school. I mean yeah I TOOK the pie (yo, I’m not turning down dessert) and just ate the marshmallowy meringue topping. I’m pretty sure that it was basic lemon icing drizzled onto fairy cakes that converted me a few years ago and I haven’t looked back since.

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