Roasted carrots with dukkah brings together the earthy root vegetable with a deconstructed dukkah of nigella, coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds along with a sprinkle of roasted hazelnuts and almonds. This side dish, which just happens to be healthy, boasts flavors that will have you going back for more.
Adapted from Jennifer McGruther | Vibrant Botanicals | Ten Speed Press, 2021
Herbs and spices are essential in our kitchen, and they satisfy a genuine hunger for connection. More than just satisfying flavor, herbs hold a profound and transformational power, tapping into your body’s innate healing wisdom. Moving with intention and grace, you can harness these properties to support immunity, ease a headache, boost your energy on drowsy mornings, or help you relax on restless evenings. When used as an adjunct to a nutrient-diverse diet, herbs can also enact even more powerful transformations: lifting the mood, boosting memory, and blunting the effects of stress.
While herbs aren’t cure-alls, they are powerful tools that bring life to your meals while drawing on ancient healing traditions. Most important, they empower you to get in touch with your intuition, take the lead in your health, and reclaim lost culinary traditions in which food and medicine were synonymous.–Jennifer McGruther
WHAT IS DUKKAH?
Roasted Carrots with Dukkah
- 2 1/2 pounds carrots
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons nigella seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped raw almonds
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped raw hazelnuts
- Coarse sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C) and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Scrub the carrots well, then quarter them lengthwise. Arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. If one baking sheet seems crowded, divvy the carrots between two rimmed baking sheets.
- Drizzle with olive oil, then roast until their edges begin to char and they yield easily when pierced with a fork, 25 to 50 minutes. If using two baking sheets, rotate halfway through cooking.
- While the carrots roast, preheat a 10-inch (25-cm) cast-iron skillet over medium heat. When it’s warm, toss in the nigella, coriander, fennel, and cumin seeds. Toast, stirring frequently to promote even cooking, until fragrant and beginning to color, 2 to 5 minutes.
- Immediately pour the seeds into a spice grinder, or mortar and pestle, and let cool for about 5 minutes before grinding them coarsely.
- While the seeds are cooling, return the skillet to medium heat, add the nuts, and toast, stirring frequently, until browned, 2 to 5 minutes.
- Add the nuts to the ground seeds, let cool slightly, and then grind coarsely.
- Arrange the carrots on a serving platter. Generously scatter the dukkah over the carrots and then sprinkle with sea salt to your liking.
☞TESTER TIP: This recipe makes more dukkah than you’ll need for the carrots, but it makes a delightful addition to other roasted vegetables, or sprinkled over eggs or avocado toast.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Roasted carrots are always easy and delicious, but with the addition of dukkah, this dish is elevated to the next level. The hardest part is rounding up the spices, especially the nigella seeds. Yes, you could buy a premade mix, but from my experience, they can often taste rancid, so I encourage you to make your own for these roasted carrots with dukkah.
Two and a half pounds of carrots is a lot, and would easily serve 6. Spreading them out onto two sheet pans was necessary to give them enough space for adequate roasting, and even then, they needed a full 50 minutes in my oven to become fully tender with a bit of char. Be sure to check on them, rotate pans, and turn over about halfway through cooking to ensure even browning.
I took advantage of a hot oven and roasted some baby new potatoes, serving them alongside grilled pork tenderloin. Simply delicious!
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
These roasted carrots with dukkah are probably the best vegetable-based dish I’ve tested since the eggplant shakshuka I made last year. The carrots get remarkably tender and when you accidentally forget to use the parchment like I did, you end up with wonderfully blistered spears with lightly charred edges.
While you could probably swap nuts or omit the fennel seed, don’t even think of proceeding without the nigella seeds which steal the show. It’s hard to describe the flavor to someone who hasn’t had them before, but what they lack in aroma they make up for in flavor, which reminds me of roasted onion. I’ve been using the leftover dukkah on roasted cauliflower, avocado toast, and other open-face sandwiches. I’m already planning to make it again this week.