Thursday, May 22, 2014

Dukkah Spice and Honey Roasted Carrots with Arugula

Goodness, I'm tired.  But tired in a good way if you know what I mean. 

It's the kind of tired that comes from long days of playing with my kids and being a family together.  The kind of tired that happens when life is working and all the little things come together.  When everyone wakes up with the right kind of attitude for facing the day and so much good gets accomplished.  It's the best kind of tired.

I had a few unscheduled moments yesterday so I took the opportunity to sit in the sun on the bench in my garden.  I read a magazine (all the way through!), sipped a blueberry lemon iced tea that I promise will make it to this space soon and simply enjoyed the contentedness of being quiet.  I considered feeling guilty about it for a moment.  Should I be playing with my boys, doing a load of laundry, organizing the room that will be home to a new baby girl in a few short months? 

I could have been doing any of those things, but I realized that the few minutes that I took to recharge my battery in the sun wasn't going to keep me from being a good mom or wife.  In fact, I would probably be a better one having given myself a break.  So I gave myself permission to close my eyes, sit back and enjoy the warm afternoon for just a few minutes longer.

Dukkah Spice and Honey Roasted Carrots with Arugula
Serves 6.  Adapted, barely, from Better Homes and Gardens.
For the printable recipe, click here.

I've made this recipe a few times now in my constant quest for side dishes that involve something other than green beans or broccoli.  The last time it graced our table was for a dinner with friends that are retiring from military life and moving back to the U.S..  It received rave reviews so I think I've got it just right.  The dukkah spice is an Egyptian spice that is a mix of toasted nuts (typically hazelnuts) and seeds.  The one I've outlined for you here is a very traditional one using sesame, coriander and cumin seeds.  I think it's just perfect but if you'd like to try something different I think pistachios and perhaps a bit of heat in the form of a hot paprika or a smoky chili powder would be great additions.  The lemon dressed arugula helps to balance out the sweetness of the honey and carrots.  These carrots are a great accompaniment to any grilled meat or roasted pork.

1 1/2 pounds of thin carrots, scrubbed and peeled if desired (halve any particularly wide carrots lengthwise)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/3 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
a few grinds of freshly cracked pepper
1 tablespoon honey
a large handful arugula (about 2 cups)
juice of 1/2 lemon

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Place the carrots on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, spread evenly on the baking pan and roast for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, heat a small pan on the stove over medium low heat.  Place the hazelnuts in the pan and toast just until the nuts get fragrant and the slightest bit golden, about 3 minutes.  Place the hazelnuts in a bowl and toss the coriander, sesame and cumin seeds in the warm pan.  Place back over the heat and toast the seeds for about 2 minutes or until they become fragrant.  Add the toasted seeds to the nuts and grind them together with the salt and pepper in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle until coarsely crushed together.

When the first 20 minutes of roasting is finished, drizzle the carrots with the honey and half of the spice and nut mixture.  Toss to coat.  Return the carrots to the oven and continue roasting for another 5 to 10 minutes or until the carrots are just fork tender (but not burnt or mushy).

At the last minute, toss the arugula with the lemon juice and olive oil in a large bowl.  Arrange on a platter.  When the carrots are ready spread them over the arugula, sprinkle some of the remaining dukkah spice over the top and gently toss together.  Serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. this sounds really fabulous...never tried dukkah spice, but can't wait to taste this!