It felt like the last week of autumn before the winter chill set in. These perfect carrots showed up in my farm share, and I spent a few mornings this week jogging through the red and yellow leaves in Prospect Park dreaming up what I would cook with them.
Not gonna lie—this recipe has been one of my better endeavors. We served what Andrew called “the best carrots I’ve ever eaten” with Spanish chorizo, marcona almonds, country bread, and some very good Amontillado sherry.
It was a great food weekend, with lots of live music and friends as well. Sipping tea and tahini hot chocolate while getting my Canadian friends’ perspective on American politics. Eating homemade Indian food and talking music and more politics with musician friends. Eating homemade pizza and listening to live improvised music at a house concert. I’m heading into this Thanksgiving week feeling a bit lighter, the tiniest bit more optimistic.
Harissa Roasted Carrots with Burrata & Carrot-Top Pesto
for the carrots
- 1 large bunch carrots with green, leafy tops (reserve tops for the pesto)
- 2 Tbsp high smoke-point oil, like avocado or sunflower seed
- 2 Tbsp harissa paste
- 4–6 oz burrata, to serve
for the carrot-top pesto
- 2 cups (packed) chopped carrot tops and tender stems
- 1/2 cup (packed) chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 4 medium garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Remove carrot tops and reserve for pesto. Scrub carrots well; without peeling, chop into 2 to 3-inch chunks. In a medium boil, stir together oil and harissa paste, add carrots, and stir to coat. Place carrots in a large baking dish, cover tightly with foil, and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 to 20 minutes more, or until carrots are very tender. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- While carrots are roasting, make the pesto. In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients but the olive oil. Add oil gradually and pulse until a coarse paste forms and all ingredients are combined.
- To serve, smear one heaping tablespoon of pesto on each plate. Pile carrots on top of the pesto, and tear off 1 to 1 1/2-ounce pieces of burrata to top each plate.
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