Some vegetables are meant for the oven, they beg to be roasted, and carrots fall into that family of what I call “preferred roasters.” Their flesh becomes tender and sweeter, and their long tapering tips turn slightly crisp. It’s fair to say that I eat roasted carrots often (is there such a thing as too often ?), and I’m going to go a step further and say I think this will be your new favorite way to eat carrots. Warm roasted carrots with a crispy blanket of golden brown crisp chia seeds and panko sitting on a yogurt mattress flavored with garlic and preserved lemons. Now, I must give you a fair warning, be quick once it’s all put together. The carrots will cool off, and the panko will turn soft when it touches the yogurt. You want all that crispy texture and hot and cold temperatures to play in your mouth.Print
1 lb/455g new/young carrots
¼ cup/60ml extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt
½ cup/30g panko (See The Cook’s Notes)
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp whole caraway
1 tsp ground smoked sweet paprika
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 cup/240g plain unsweetened Greek yogurt
2 to 3 Tbsp preserved lemon peel, rinsed and minced
1 to 2 garlic cloves, grated
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp fresh dill chopped
- Preheat the oven to 425F/220C.
- Place the carrots on a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle 2 Tbsp of olive oil and season with salt. Toss to coat well and spread the carrots in a single layer. Cook until the carrots turn tender and are easily pierced with a knife or fork, and the carrots turn golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave on the pan. Reduce the heat to 350F/180C.
- While the carrots roast, prep the panko mixture and make the yogurt sauce.
- To prepare the panko mixture, fold the panko and chia seeds in a small bowl. Stir in the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil, caraway, paprika, and black pepper. Season with salt.
- Now prepare the yogurt sauce. In a mixing bowl, fold the yogurt, preserved lemon, garlic, lemon juice, and yogurt. Taste and season with salt.
- Once the carrots are roasted, sprinkle the panko mixture all over the roasted carrots in the pan, return to the oven at 350F/180C, and cook until the panko turns golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.
- To serve, place the yogurt on a serving platter with the hot carrots on the side or on top of the yogurt. Spoon out all the panko mixture from the pan and top it over the carrots, garnish with the chopped dill. Serve immediately.
- I like panko because they turn crispier than regular breadcrumbs on baking but if you have breadcrumbs at home, use 1/4 cup/35g.
- Yogurt tends to mask the flavor of preserved lemons and garlic, so I recommend tasting the yogurt with the minimal amounts listed in the recipe and then using more if you feel the need.
- BTW plain yogurt is also good here; it’s just a bit thinner and runnier.
- This is one of those dishes that is best eaten as soon as the carrots come out of the oven or they will lose their warmth. There is a nice interplay of cool and warm temperatures that appear simultaneously here, and I don’t want you to miss out.
- There should be no confusion based on the photos but use young or new carrots. They are sometimes called baby carrots, depending on where you live, but I am not referring to the mechanically shaped and curved ones.