In our tiny yard I try and squeeze as much as possible into the growing season. My attempts in late August to set us up for an Autumn carrot season were well intentioned but probably placed too much optimism in Saltaire’s mid autumn climate. The carrots were not in fact ready for Autumn and seemed to lie dormant and clamped in the earth through Christmas and over new year.
This weekend however I decided to do the big pre spring clean of the yard: pruning, clearing, hosing and weeding to prepare the veg trug, and pots for new seasons of sowing and planting. As I was doing so I noticed the carrots I’d ignored for so many months had in fact been growing slowly and we had a lovely batch of small roots ready for use in our Sunday lunch.
Separating the tops from the roots (which I blanched and buttered to accompany the main course of roast pork), I cleaned the little beauties up into crudités for dunking in the following accompaniments.
CARROTS WITH DUKKAH AND TAHINI HERB SAUCE
for the tahini herb sauce
- 80g good quality tahini
- 80g natural live set yoghurt
- 3 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt, to taste
- 80ml lemon juice
- zest of one lemon
- 80 ml ice cold water
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 bunch chives
for the dukkah
- 4 table spoons of mixed nuts (hazel, almond, pine)
- t table spoons mixed seeds (pumkin, sunflower, sesame)
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ras el hanout
- sea salt, to taste
- Add all the tahini sauce ingredients, apart from the water, lemon juice and herbs to a food processor and blitz to combine
- Add the herbs and pulse to blend.
- Add 80% of the lemon and water and blitz. You’re looking for the consistency of a loose sour creme. Add the rest of the liquid if required.
- For the Dukkah, toast the nuts, seeds, spices and salt in a large frying pan until the spices give off their aroma, the seeds begin to pop and the nuts are golden brown. Remove from the pan to cool.
- Blend the toasted mixture in a food processor to break up the nuts. Don’t blend too finely or you’ll loose the interesting, crumbly texture.
- Add the paprika and ras el hanout and pulse to combine.
- Wash and scrub your carrots, chopping into smaller batons if using full sized vegetables.
- Arrange the dukkah and dip in small bowls and enjoy.