Sticky, Spicy, Sweet Roasted Carrots and Chickpeas with Date Vinaigrette

By EmilyC
February 27, 2017
9 Comments


Author Notes: Here, roasted carrots and chickpeas are made sassy by dates that are macerated in sherry vinegar and lemon juice, then blitzed into a sweet-tart, almost creamy vinaigrette. Before heading into the hot oven, the carrots and chickpeas get tossed with some of the vinaigrette. As they roast, they’re bronzed by the date vinaigrette as it reduces down to a sticky glaze. The vinaigrette then plays double agent as a drizzling sauce, which is probably my favorite thing about this dish. It's amazing how just a little extra vinaigrette at the end completely wakes up and amplifies the flavors that are slumbered by the high-heat roast. The finished dish makes a natural side to roast lamb or chicken, but can easily slip into a leading role with some couscous, bulgur, or pita bread. You'll likely have some leftover vinaigrette: use it to up your roasting game (hello Brussels sprouts and asparagus!), or to make a simple kale salad pretty special.EmilyC

Food52 Review: The carrots were enhanced by the sweetness of the dates and balanced by the tart vinegar. The chickpeas were tasty and especially nice with the occasional crunchy roasted pea. Leilani

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and halved (or quartered, depending on size) into thin, uniform slices
  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed, lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed, lightly crushed
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • a few tablespoons of coarsely chopped dill or cilantro

For Date Vinaigrette:

  • 5 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 small garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup cup sherry vinegar, plus additional to taste
  • Finely grated lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice, from 1 small lemon
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons warm water

Directions

  1. To make the date vinaigrette, combine the dates, garlic, sherry vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and a pinch of kosher salt, stirring a few times to ensure the dates and garlic are fully submerged. Do this step in the blender jar if using a stand blender, or a glass measuring cup or other suitable container if using a stick blender. Let macerate for 20 to 30 minutes while prepping the carrots and other ingredients.
  2. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Add the extra-virgin olive oil and the warm water (starting with 2 tablespoons) to the macerated dates and garlic in the blender jar. Blend until the vinaigrette is smooth, adding a few more teaspoons of warm water at a time to thin the vinaigrette. You're looking for a slightly thick vinaigrette, but one that can still be drizzled or poured. Add salt and sherry vinegar, to taste.
  4. Place the carrots and chickpeas on a sheet pan or baking dish lined with parchment that’s large enough to fit them in a single, even layer. Toss with 1/4 cup of the date vinaigrette, Aleppo pepper, cumin seed, coriander seed, and a few large pinches of kosher salt until evenly coated. It may seem like too much vinaigrette, but it’ll reduce down and coat the carrots and chickpeas—so don’t skimp! Spread the carrots and chickpeas in a single, even layer. Roast until the carrots and chickpeas are golden and the carrots are fork-tender, stirring 4 to 5 times to ensure even roasting and to avoid the vinaigrette burning in open areas of the pan (but don't be too concerned--it's why you're using parchment!). The roasting time will depend on the freshness and size of the carrots – anywhere from 25 minutes to 45+ minutes. If the carrots are browning too quickly but aren’t tender, lower the oven to 375 degrees F and continue roasting until tender.
  5. Scatter the dill or cilantro over the carrots and chickpeas, and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve warm, making sure to drizzle more of the vinaigrette over the carrots and chickpeas before serving. (See headnote for suggested pairings.)

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Reviews (9) Questions (0)

9 Comments

QueenSashy April 5, 2017
I absolutely adored it!
 
Author Comment
EmilyC April 5, 2017
Oh good, so, so happy to hear this QS!! Question, did your carrots soften okay following the recipe as written? I've made these 4 times since posting, and one time, my carrots would not get tender (and they were fresh from the farmers market). It made me wonder if this experience was just an anomaly, or maybe I should add a step for blanching the carrots first, before roasting?
 
QueenSashy April 5, 2017
No, no, no -- they were great. I made this once so far, I went with 400F (that's my go to temp for the carrots) and it was perfect. I'll make it again and will keep you posted.
 
Author Comment
EmilyC April 5, 2017
Great to know, thanks! Maybe I just had stubborn carrots. I'll try 400 degrees next time, per your recommendation!
 
QueenSashy April 19, 2017
I made it again, exactly as you specified, and it was perfect! No issues whatsoever. As I type this comment my folks are savoring the dish and sending lots of compliments your way!
 
Author Comment
EmilyC April 19, 2017
Oh wonderful!! Thanks so much for letting me know!
 
Author Comment
EmilyC March 12, 2017
The carrots should be peeled; forgot to specify! Will edit when the recipe is unlocked.
 
sexyLAMBCHOPx March 8, 2017
The vinegarette sounds delicious.
 
Author Comment
EmilyC March 8, 2017
Thank you! I really like it's sweet-tartness!