Cumin-Scented Carrots

This cumin-scented carrot side dish reminds me of Morocco. The veggies are tossed with earthy cumin-scented olive oil, fragrant tangerine zest, and zingy, colorful chives. We grow carrots at home (when the gophers don’t get to them first) and they’re very sweet. For this recipe, use the smallest carrots you can find, with the greens still attached. If your carrots taste starchy, add a little honey to sweeten them up.–Christine Hanna

LC What Are You Waiting For? Note

This carrot sidekick calls for ingredients you may already have on hand, comes together in 10 minutes, requires minimal cleanup, and may even lower your husband’s cholesterol. Um, are you still reading. Or are you gathering your ingredients?

Cumin-Scented Carrots Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 10 M
  • Serves 6


  • 2 pounds small carrots, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated tangerine or orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoon fresh tangerine or orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  • 1. In a covered steamer set over simmering water, cook the carrots until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • 2. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil until fragrant. Add the cumin and sauté just until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Stir in the tangerine zest and stir, then add the carrots and toss to coat. Add the chives, butter, tangerine juice, salt, and pepper and toss again to coat. Serve immediately. (Yes, it’s that simple.)
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Testers Choice

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Julie Dreyfoos

Nov 16, 2010

Quick, easy, and full of flavor! I didn’t have baby carrots, but I did have some fresh organic carrots from the market, so after cleaning and paring them I cut them into little knobs. This is an easy recipe to halve or double for as many guests as needed. A great do-ahead tip is to steam your carrots in advance, then sauté them in the cumin-butter mixture right before serving.

Testers Choice
Chiyo Ueyama

Nov 16, 2010

I had always been indifferent about carrots, and then this recipe came along. Not only do I love these carrots with cumin and citrus, but I can unequivocally call this recipe one of my favorite side dishes. The amounts of ingredients were just right: just enough oil, fat, and juice to help the tangerine zest cling to each carrot. Every bite is sweet, and the aroma is addictive—the tangerine so fresh, the cumin almost otherworldly. The recipe is quite easy; you can make it with your eyes closed from the second time on—always a plus.

Testers Choice
Liz Tarpy

Nov 16, 2010

It’s easy to get stuck in vegetable ruts‚ cooking them the same way every time because you know the results you’ll get. I always roast carrots with olive oil and garlic. Now, I can see that they deserve better. The cumin and tangerine combination is fabulous, and the butter adds richness. Easy and delicious.

Testers Choice
Jeremy Schweitzer

Nov 16, 2010

The name is a little cumbersome, but descriptive. I thought that the cumin would be too much, and while I’d probably reduce the amount a little, it was almost perfect. This is one of those combinations that just works: the tangerine accentuates the sweetness of the carrots, and the cumin helps pull out the vegetal notes. I don’t think 5 minutes of steaming was quite enough, as I’m not sure I really want my carrots that crisp. At 10 minutes, mine were still far from overcooked and about what I thought to be perfect for this recipe. I’ll probably play with proportions in the future, but this was a great little recipe.

Testers Choice
Cindi Kruth

Nov 16, 2010

This side dish couldn’t be easier. There’s nothing in this lovely combination of flavors that I couldn’t have thought to combine, I just didn’t. It was ready in barely more than the 4 minutes it took to steam the carrots. We liked it both hot and at room temperature.

Testers Choice
Pat Francis

Nov 16, 2010

Steamed and then coated in a fragrant blend of tangerine, butter, and cumin, these carrots make a wonderful side dish. They’re easy to prepare, delicious, and beautiful on the plate. These would be a perfect addition to a winter holiday meal.

Testers Choice
Sandy Hill

Nov 16, 2010

Just when I thought I’d seen the last of the carrot recipes! We love carrots, and this dish was fast and delicious. The scent of the cumin, tangerine zest, and chives was lovely and the combination made a wonderful glaze for the carrots. I did add 1 teaspoon of honey to the glaze, because we like things sweet. I’ll be keeping this in my vegetable file.

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