Carrots: Outstanding in their field
The transitional period from summer to autumn can be a disappointing one for sun-worshippers like myself, although it is the best time of year to reap the benefits of the summer bounty!
Fruits, but more particularly, vegetables are still vibrant and perky having absorbed the sunshine throughout the summer months, making them full-flavoured and super sweet.
As beautiful for the eye, as the palate, even root vegetables this time of year are delicate and tender ideal for prolonging the flavours of summer. I particularly enjoy my vegetables raw, and even the hardier varieties are still good enough to warrant avoiding the pot, with preserving a great way to enjoy their humble nature well into the autumn.
My recipe this week however, looks at honouring the under-rated yet staple vegetable, the carrot, that only seems improve with careful cookery. Naturally sweet and vibrant in both flavour and nutrients, the carrot often looses out to more vigorous vegetables around the dinner table, commonly being sidelined as a boringly boiled back-up. But the colour and sweetness it brings to the table is something I feel is unrivalled in the vegetable world.
Whether they are boiled, sautéed, roasted or simply nibbled raw, carrots are present in every household, and seem to be a favourite regardless of age! Therefore my simple roasted carrot hummus honours this beautiful vegetable in all its simplistic glory whilst providing you with a week’s worth of beta carotene; as well as being a fantastic source of biotin, vitamin K, dietary fibre, molybdenum, potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C! Now you get why this is such a super veg!
Teamed up with my moorish and super simple beetroot crisps, getting half way to your 5-a-day has never tasted so delicious!
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 500g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- salt and pepper
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- 4 tbsp tahini paste
- 3 – 4 tbsp water, dependent on desired consistency
- 1/2 lemon, juice and zest
- Small bunch of fresh coriander
- 500g beetroot, peeled and very thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas 6. Add the coriander, caraway and fennel seeds to a pestle and mortar and grind well. Tip the spices into a large bowl along with the carrots, oil, cumin and salt and pepper. Ensure the carrots are fully coated before placing them into a baking tray and roasting for 25 – 30 minutes, or until soft.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cooled, add the carrots along with the remaining ingredients to a food processor. Blitz until all the ingredients are fully blended and a smooth paste is achieved – add more water if desired. Set aside and make the beetroot crisps.
- Coat the beetroot slices in the oil and seasoning before laying out on a lined baking tray. Place in a low oven around 160ºC/gas 3 and bake until just crisp – approximately 25 – 30 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool and crisp up fully before tossing in more seasoning if required. Serve alongside the carrot hummus with a sprinkling of roughly chopped coriander.