Confession: I lived in New York City (Queens) for almost nine years and visited the major Union Square farmer’s market so few times as to be able to count them on two hands. Please don’t judge too harshly. It’s not that it isn’t a fantastic farmer’s market – it definitely is! – but I lived just far away enough to make getting there a serious pain, and there’s a huge Barnes & Noble a stone’s throw away, so I always got really distracted anyway. (We’re here for sour cherries. We’re here for sour cherr-BOOOOKKKKKSSSSS!!!!)
Living in Hoboken is different, in that several different small farmer’s markets are readily accessible during summer and early fall months (since the entire city is a tad over 1 square mile), and aside from days I’ve been out of town, I don’t think I’ve missed a day yet. Which brings us to rainbow carrots.
I keep seeing them, week after week, worming their way into my subconscious like the cleverest of ad campaigns. I caved a few weeks ago, made this superlative side dish with my purchase, and here we are.
Both times I made this, I know I made some kind of protein for the main dish, but I cannot remotely remember, as it was royally upstaged. Lamb chops, maybe? That does sound good…
Anywho! This is incredible. Sweetness of the carrots, playing off the creamy, spicy aioli, all punctuated by the crunch of the dukkah. Such a beautiful dish. Enjoy!
3 tbs whole hazelnuts, skin on
1 tbs sesame seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
Kosher salt and black pepper
12 skinny carrots or 6 thin rainbow carrots sliced in half lengthwise, tops trimmed and scrubbed clean
¾ cup mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
Juice of ½ a lemon
2 tsp harissa
Preheat your oven to 400 F and place a rack in the upper third of the oven.
First make the dukkah: in a small skillet over medium heat, toast the hazelnuts until lightly golden and aromatic, shaking the pan often, about 2 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a small bowl and set aside. Repeat the process with the sesame seeds, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds, toasting each separately, then adding each to the bowl with the hazelnuts. Set aside to cool completely.
In a mortar and pestle or small food processor, pound or process the hazelnut mixture into an unevenly textured mix. You want some little chunks, not a fine powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
On a sheet pan, toss the carrots with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast the carrots, turning once, about 15-20 minutes, until cooked through but not mushy.
While the carrots are roasting, make the aioli by whisking the mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, harissa, plus salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl until smooth. Refrigerate if not using immediately.
To serve, arrange the carrots on a serving platter. Sprinkle with as much dukkah as you like (you’ll likely have leftovers), then drizzle with aioli. Pass extra aioli at the table.