Late Summer Roasted Carrots and Pomegranate Salad with Orange-Cumin Dressing
Pomegranates in the stores means that fall is on its way. I am excited about the change of season and the new fruits and vegetables it brings to the markets but of course I am sad to see the summer coming to an end. Spring, summer and fall seem to be so short here in Canada and the winter sooo looong. Early fall is an interesting season, where summer merges into fall. We still get beautiful summer produce but now it is beginning to share the market stalls and our table with early fall root vegetables and fall fruits like apples and pears. This little grilled carrot salad with pomegranates is that kind of food, combining the beautiful summer carrots with upcoming fall pomegranates. The pomegranates came from California, by the way, so they are far away from home.
Carrot salads tend to be part of mediterranean cuisine so I prepared a dressing that hints of mediterranean flavours with a touch of cumin and a touch of coriander. Mediterranean carrot salads are often served raw, not cooked. Shredded carrot salad with lemon juice and garlic is a common appetizer at middle east restaurants. If you have been there you’d know that as soon as you are seated at a restaurant you may get 15 small bowls with various salads, along with unlimited amount of freshly bakes pita bread. It can be overwhelming at times because you still have to order food (see last image below).
You can make this salad with any carrots but try to find the smaller ones and cut them in half lengthwise. They cook quicker and look so pretty. If you have mint, add a few chopped fresh mint leaves to the salad before serving, I didn’t have any mint today as it was pulled out of my rooftop garden while the landscape group made some changes I requested. I will have more mint in the garden next year for sure.
Regarding the pomegranates, I have a special attachment to this fruit (see my post about pomegranates here). Such a beauty. There are also instruction in that post about how to get the seeds out of a pomegranate that you may wish to review. Pomegranates tend to stain your hands so wear thin kitchen gloves while breaking it open and releasing the seeds. More on that in that post I mentioned.
Other than that it’s a pretty straight forward recipe.
1-2 bunches young carrot, preferrrably with green attached
1 tablespoon olive oil
Micro greens, arugula or baby greens
1/3 cup oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon or more to taste
Grated zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate (frozen)
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 tespoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/3 cup chopped parsley
Cut the green leafy top off the carrots leaving about 1 inch of green still attached. Cut the carrots in half lengthwise, leaving greens attached to both halves.
Toss the carrots with the 1 tablespoon olive oil and spread on a foil lined baking sheet. You can also grill them on an outdoor grill in a grill basket.
Roast carrots in 400℉ or in a grill set to medium high setting until cooked but still crunchy.
Remove and let cool to room temperature.
Seed the pomegranates by cutting an X through the flower end, breaking the pomegranate open and removing the seeds. See a more detailed explanation here.
To make the dressing combine all the ingredients in a small food processor and blend, or place in a jar and shake well until blended (note: if you use food processor don’t add the lemon zest until it is blended).
Pour enough of the dressing over the carrots and toss to coat.
Place carrots on a serving plate and scatter pomegranate seeds over.
Sprinkle mint leaves if using.
Scatter micro greens, arugula or other baby green over the salad.
Serve at room temperature.