Roasted carrots are a classic and this recipe for Harissa Roasted Carrots with Lemon Tahini Dressing takes them to a new level.
While many roast carrot recipes call for a sweet glaze, this recipe takes a left turn and features spicy harissa and smokey tahini with the tang of lemon. You can save your sugar for dessert!
Are carrots really good for your eyes?
Yes, carrots contain several micronutrients- beta carotene and lutein- that are good for your eye health.
But did you know that the connection between carrots and good eye sight arose during World War 2? Radar was a new technology being used by the British Air Force – with great success. In order to keep the technology a secret, the pilots success- particularly at night - was attributed eating more carrots!
Your body converts the beta carotene in carrots to Vitamin A and deficiencies in Vitamin A can lead to night blindness – so it’s not all a myth!
Are cooked or raw carrots better?
While both are great for you, your body absorbs and utilizes beta carotene more efficiently when you eat cooked carrots rather than raw ones. In addition Vitamin A and is a “fat soluble” vitamin, so eating carrots with a fat source improves absorption. This recipe contains olive oil which is a great healthy fat.
Orange carrots have the most beta carotene, whole yellow carrots have the most lutein. A good rule of thumb the darker the color, the sweeter the flavor. I love using rainbow carrots for this dish because it adds a great splash of color and they are just fun! For the prettiest presentation, buy carrots with the greens attached and cut off the tops leaving just a short stem. Regular whole carrots, cut lengthwise if too wide, and baby carrots can also be used.
What is Harissa sauce?
Harissa is a spicy, smoky, peppery red chili paste originally hails from Tunisia, and it is common in Middle Eastern and North African cooking. It has a peppery, smokey and garlicy flavor and comes in different levels of heat.
Keep in mind that hot is HOT.
If you aren’t a big spice fan, you might want to opt for the mild version.
The lemon tahini dressing is a cools the harissa kick a bit and adds a great tangy flavor. If you are short on time you could substitute hummus cut with a bit of lemon juice and honey to serve with your harissa roasted carrots.
Mealtime conversation starters
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Harissa Roasted Carrots with Lemon Tahini Dressing
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- Preheat the oven to 400° F
- Peel carrots leaving green tips attached
- Cut the carrots into quarters length wise if large, or leave whole if smaller
- Place the carrots on the sheet pan
- Mix the harissa paste with olive oil and brush over the carrots
- Roast the carrots in the oven for about 25 minutes
For the dressing:
- While the carrots roast, whisk the lemon zest and juice together with the tahini and honey to form a dressing
- Add enough water to the mixture the thickness of thin yogurt, starting with 1 tablespoon water and adding as necessary
- Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste
- Once the carrots have roasted, transfer them to the serving dish and drizzle with the dressing
- Tear the mint leaves sprinkle over the carrots
Hand Size Portions
Coach Karen S Holden helps busy professional women figure out how to prioritize their health while keeping all the plates spinning. She helps women take small imperfectly consistent steps that lead to big change. If your life is overloaded and overbooked, don’t despair – there is a solution.
Find other articles written by Karen on her coach profile. Her insights can help you navigate your journey to making your health as much of a priority as your career – without having to neglect either one!