I recommend this recipe for anyone looking for an easy, delicious, family-style meal. This recipe is also vegetarian and gluten free, so you can make if for a crowd and know that everyone, including folks with dietary restrictions, will likely end up happy and satisfied. There is not a lot of prep involved with this dish, making it ideal for impromptu gatherings or weeknight meals.
Feel free to use this recipe as a guideline and get creative. The shallots can be replaced with onions, leeks, garlic, or any allium. The kale can be replaced with chard or mustard greens. The spice mix is flexible (use curry powder, turmeric, or any other combination of your favorite middle eastern spices). You could even use kidney beans and/or cannellini beans instead of chickpeas. This recipe is all about using what you have on hand to make something hearty and enjoyable. —Josh Cohen
carrots (I use rainbow carrots when available, they add nice color)
Freshly ground black pepper
shallots, peeled and cut into thin half moons
aleppo chile (substitute 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes if you must)
15 ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
red kale, washed, leaves torn into bite size pieces, stems discarded (substitute any hearty greens)
Juice of 1 lime
In This Recipe
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Using a chef knife, remove and discard the top of each carrot. Wash the carrots in cold water, but do not peel them (they look beautiful when roasted with the skin on). Cut the carrots into bite size pieces. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the carrots on the rimmed baking sheet in a single even layer. Toss the carrots with olive oil to coat, and season them with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until the edges begin to caramelize. When the carrots are just cooked through and beginning to brown, remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool.
While the carrots are cooking, set a large skillet over medium heat, and add enough olive oil to barely cover the bottom of the skillet. Add the shallots, and season lightly with salt. Cook the shallots until they become soft and start to turn translucent, stirring occasionally.
While the shallots are cooking, separate the cilantro leaves from the stems. Save the leaves in the refrigerator for later. Organize the stems into a single even pile (like a bunch of chives) and slice the cilantro stems into very thin slivers. By the time you finish dicing the cilantro stems, the shallots should be soft and translucent. Add the diced stems to the skillet, along with the sumac, coriander, cumin, ginger, and aleppo chile. Stir, cooking for 1-2 minutes, until the oil smells fragrant.
Add the chickpeas, and stir to coat them in the flavorful oil. Cook for 2 minutes, to allow the chickpeas to take on some of the flavor of the skillet. Add the kale, and stir to help the kale begin to wilt. Season lightly with salt. When the kale has begun to wilt, remove the skillet from the heat. You do not want to overcook the kale (it will shrink too much). The moment when the kale leaves are no longer raw is the time to remove the skillet from the heat (the kale leaves will soften and darken slightly in color).
Add the lime juice and stir. Add the creme fraiche and stir. The residual heat from the skillet should melt the creme fraiche and create a delicate sauce. Taste a few chickpeas and a small piece of kale. Adjust with more salt and/or lime juice as necessary. Add the roasted carrots, and gently stir to incorporate. Serve immediately, or serve at room temperature. Garnish with a handful of chopped cilantro leaves. Enjoy.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, I'm perpetually inspired by the diversity of foods that exist in this city. I love shopping at the farmer's market, making ingredients taste like the best versions of themselves, and rolling fresh pasta.