Tahini Roasted Carrots
Outside of my front door, I crave variety: new restaurants; unexplored running routes; fresh travel destinations. Step across that threshold, however, and you’ll find a girl cozied up in the same scruffy blanket, sporting one of her 40-million identical pairs of black Gap leggings, and roasting carrots at 400 degrees.
My Monday through Fridays can be eerily similar. Every morning I brew a double batch of coffee, sip half in the morning with breakfast, then reheat the rest after lunch with a piece of dark chocolate (or honey pecan blondie). Lunch rotates between leftovers, grilled cheese, and eggs, always with a side of greens, and the background noise is either reruns of Barefoot Contessa or NPR. Early evenings mean a quick trip to the gym/grocery store, then dinner. No matter what else is on the menu (last night it was this, and tonight I’m forecasting this), there’s a pan of roasted vegetables on the side, always with olive oil, salt, and pepper, always roasted at 400 degrees.
Though I find comfort in the predictability of my routine, and I’ll forever have more projects and ideas than I do time to complete them, lately I’ve been feeling restless. Yes, I have the weekends to explore new places, but I want to find ways to add energy to my weekdays too. I’m not entirely sure what this means for me yet (I’m looking into a few different community classes at the moment), but I have at least found one small means to inject a little color into our routine:
Rainbow carrots! Aren’t they beautiful? Yes, orange carrots are nice, and I will forever be grateful to them for their super quantities of Vitamin A (and for making Healthy Carrot Cake a reality), but something about the extra burst of color makes the rainbow ones feel celebratory and exuberant. (FYI, the different colors either taste the same, or my palate isn’t delicate enough to discern a difference.)
Though carrots are sweet and lovely simply roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper, I wanted to do something extra special for our rainbow assortment. Currently, I have a very large jar of tahini hanging out in my refrigerator, and I became curious as to how it would behave if I tossed the carrots in it prior to roasting them.
If you are unfamiliar with tahini, it is a paste made from sesame seeds that’s used in Middle Eastern cooking, best known to many as a primary ingredient in hummus. Personally, I like to think of tahini as sesame butter, because anything with the word “butter” automatically sounds more delicious, and because it’s consistency reminds me a little of natural peanut butter, one of my favorite flavor pairings with carrots.
My new favorite carrot flavor pairing: tahini, along with cumin and curry. The nuttiness of the tahini fused with the sweetness of the carrots and the heat of the cumin + curry makes a dynamite combo. These roasted carrots are comforting, surprising, and addictive. We enjoyed them the first night with simply grilled chicken, then I polished off the leftovers on top of a salad for lunch the next day.
Though I’m still brainstorming what adding diversity to my weekdays will mean in the larger picture, in my immediate view, I have Tahini Cumin Roasted Carrots adding variety to our dinner routine. The future is looking tasty indeed.
Tahini Roasted Carrots
- 2 pounds carrots
- 2 tablespoons tahini paste
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons ground curry
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Set aside.
Peel the carrots and trim the ends. If the carrots are very thick, slice them in halves or quarters so that all pieces are similar in size.
In a large bowl, whisk together the tahini, olive oil, curry, cumin, and salt. Add the carrots, then with your hands, toss to coat the carrots in the tahini mixture.
Spread the carrots in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet (use two sheets if needed—do not crowd the carrots, or they will steam instead of browning). Roast for 20 minutes, flip the carrots over, then continue roasting until tender and golden brown, about 15 additional minutes (35 minutes total). If using more than one pan, switch the pans’ positions halfway through. Serve warm.
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