This recipe (adapted from my book Dining In) could easily serve as a side to roast chicken or as a salad with something heavier, like a stew, but often I serve this as a sort of salad-side hybrid for when I don't want to make both. The unique earthiness of fresh turmeric really makes this dish, especially when the bits get a little too dark and crispy as the carrots roast, but ground turmeric is a totally acceptable substitute.
Roasting carrots hot and fast will give you something that is caramelized and deeply flavorful on the outside without sacrificing their snappy texture, and roasting them with seeds means you don't have to toast the seeds separately to coax out their flavor. It's really quite a good deal for all involved, and sometimes I make them sans leafy greens when I just want to take advantage of this very good deal.
Do ahead: These carrots are actually great at room temperature and can be roasted about 4 hours ahead. —alison roman
small carrots, scrubbed, tops trimmed to about 1/2 inch
finely grated fresh turmeric or 1/2 teaspoon ground
Freshly ground black pepper
spicy greens, such as mustard greens, watercress, or wild arugula
In This Recipe
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
If using carrots on the larger size, halve them lengthwise. Toss the carrots with the olive oil, turmeric, cumin, and fennel on a rimmed backing sheet and season with salt and pepper. Roast, shaking the pan occasionally, until the carrots are evenly browned and tender (but not totally soft), 20 to 25 minutes; if your carrots are on the larger side, this might take a bit longer. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Put the greens in a large bowl along with the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
Scatter the carrots and greens on a large serving platter or bowl, making sure to scrape any of the oily, seedy business from the baking sheet in there, too.