This recipe was one of those off-the-cuff type things which I threw together one evening when I spent a little to much time wondering what to do with a bag of dinky little Chantenay carrots. Happily enough it turned out to be rather nice and I have repeated it since turning my salad into a lunch dish by mixing the sticky-sweet roasted carrots with a heap of lentils and topping them off with a crumbling of salty feta. The earthy flavour of the carrots is lifted by a sharp mustard and lemon dressing which also serves to cut through their concentrated honeyed sweetness. Toasted hazelnuts lend a some textural interest and their buttery taste plays along well with the rest of the dish.
The bright orange wedges look really rather lovely in their honey glaze dotted with fennel which, being just roughly crushed, pop up with a little burst of flavour in each bite rather than enfusing the entire dish. If you find there is too much dressing (I’m rather too fond of drowning things!) keep it in a little jar in the fridge ready for another salad or perhaps to add some interest to a hearty sandwich.
Roasted carrots with fennel seeds and hazelnuts
Serves 4 as a side
- 1kg carrots
- 2 tbsp honey
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp fennel seeds, roughly crushed
- a good pinch of sea salt
- 2 tbsp grainy mustard
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, finely grated
- salt and pepper
- 50g hazelnuts, skin on for colour
Preheat your oven to 200°C.
Peel the carrots and cut of the tops. Halve lenthways and toss with the honey, 3 tbsp olive oil, fennel seeds and sea salt.
Roast the carrot for 40 mintues turning occasionally until tender and golden.
Drain the cooking liquid into a small bowl or jam jar and mix with the mustard, lemon juice, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Add more lemon juice or oil if you like. Toss the carrots in the dressing.
Bash the hazelnuts so they are in large chunks, toast in a dry pan until golden and fragrant. Scatter over the carrots and serve warm.