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.
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.
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.