Thursday, May 26, 2016

Cumin and Honey Roasted Carrots, Ricotta, and Gremolata

I am constantly trying to be more sustainable in my life, not waste things, and support my local community.  In doing so I have learned a lot about food waste, buying locally, and cooking seasonally.  While I'm learning about it all I am trying to get better at applying it to my life.  I found this article that gives a really good visual representation of what you can seasonally cook with month to month, it is a great source to reference.  The Portland Kitchen has also started a project that teaches this, they are starting a pizza garden.  They recently got a plot of land from the city and they are weeding and preparing it right now to grow tomatoes, peppers, basil etc.  The summer cohort will help with all of this and in the end they will have a pizza party!  I also volunteered myself to help with the garden because gardening is one of my favorite things ever, it makes me feel so happy.  And speaking of cooking seasonally try this carrot recipe I adapted because carrots are in season now!

Serves 5

The Ingredients
For the carrots:
1 pound carrots (from 2 smallish bunches)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon fine sea or kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
12 ounces good quality, whole milk ricotta
juice of 1/2 a lemon
finishing salt
black pepper

For the gremolata:
small handful mint leaves
small handful carrot greens
1 small garlic clove
zest of half a lemon

The Process
1.  Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375ºF.

2.  Trim and scrub the carrots. Slice larger carrots in half lengthwise, and halve crosswise if longer than 6 inches. Place the carrots on a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and honey, and sprinkle with the cumin, chile flakes, and salt. Roast, tossing occasionally, until the carrots are golden and collapsing in places and very tender, 20-30 minutes.

3.  Spread the ricotta in the bottom of a medium-sized baking vessel. Top with the roasted carrots and any good stuff that’s stuck to the pan. Bake until the ricotta is warmed through, 5-10 minutes.

4.  Meanwhile, make the gremolata just before serving.  Place the herbs on a cutting board, and use a microplane (or the finest holes on a box grater) to grate the garlic clove and lemon zest over the herbs. Use a sharp chef’s knife to chop everything together.

5.  When the ricotta and carrots are done, remove from the oven and sprinkle with some of the gremolata (you may not need all of it), a good squeeze of lemon juice, a few pinches of flaky salt, and a grind or two of black pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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