I am about 4 dishes behind on the blog! I’ve been cooking as much as usual, but haven’t had as much time to follow up with a post. Of the dishes I’ve recently made, this one is a stand out and looks really beautiful on the plate.
I recommend doing a trial run if you plan to serve it for a party. It is a little labor intensive, but you can do some of the work ahead of time. Unless you have a huge skillet, you’ll want to take the time to find similar-sized carrots so they all fit and can cook in the same amount of time. Keeping the greens on is also key for presentation.
I think the spice blend really makes this dish. Carrots can be kind of boring, but this really wakes them up. The light notes of lemon, savory thyme, combined with the slight caramelized flavor of the sugar really kind of surprises you, but they all work together. The harissa yogurt adds a little more depth and heat and pulls it all together. (Hint, harissa paste can be hard to find, I used good ole sriracha and it tasted just fine!)
Serve this as a first course and plate 3-5 carrots per person. Skip the yogurt for a vegan-friendly version.
Adapted from Bon Appetit
- 2 pounds small carrots with tops, scrubbed, tops trimmed to ½”
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon English mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander or fennel
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon harissa paste
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, plus more
- ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus more
- Lemon wedges (for serving)
- Cook carrots in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender and skins easily rub off, about 5 minutes; drain. Transfer to a bowl of ice water. Using paper towels, gently rub carrots to remove skins and pat dry.
- Mix sugar, mustard powder, paprika, cumin, and coriander in a small bowl. Toss carrots with 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium bowl. Add spice mixture; season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
- Heat remaining 3 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron. Working in 2 batches, cook carrots, turning occasionally, until deep brown all over, 6–8 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, place yogurt in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add harissa paste, 2 tsp. thyme, and ½ tsp. lemon zest and gently swirl ingredients, stopping before yogurt turns pink.
- Spoon harissa yogurt onto plates and top with carrots, more thyme, and more lemon zest. Serve with lemon wedges.
DO AHEAD: Carrots can be cooked in boiling water and peeled 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Spice blend and yogurt (minus the harissa) can also be mixed ahead of time. Just before plating, mix in harissa.