There are a few ingredients I believe the Western world should be cooking with more. One of those ingredients is tahini, a creamy paste made from sesame seeds used widely in the Middle East. It provides a wonderfully creamy, nutty taste, not to mention is an excellent source of protein. Here it shines drizzled onto carrots, sweetened with just a bit with maple syrup, and roasted alongside thin slices of lemon, which provide a hit of acid, and Medjool dates, which get jammy and fragrant in the oven. It’s a dish of unexpected but delightful flavors.
- 1 bunch of carrots, scrubbed clean with tops completely or mostly removed, quartered lengthwise (no need to peel!)
- 1 Meyer or regular lemon, very thinly sliced (you can definitely eat them cooked)
- 5-6 Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 cup tahini (you can buy tahini at the store or online at Amazon)
- 4 tbsp water
- red pepper flakes
- salt (preferably kosher)
- extra virgin olive oil
- carrot top fronds or other herbs, such as parsley (optional, for garnish)
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Step 2: On a baking sheet, combine the carrots, dates, and lemon slices. Add some red pepper flakes to taste depending on how spicy you like it. Drizzle with olive oil, add the maple syrup, and toss together using your hands to make sure everything is coated well. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes, tossing occasionally (two or three times).
Step 3: Make the tahini sauce by combining the tahini with the water with a whisk or fork – continuing to combine until a sauce is formed. (Initially the tahini will break up when hit with the water, but just keep combining, it will come together). Season the sauce with a couple pinches of salt, to taste.
Step 4: Once the carrots, lemons, and dates are finished roasting, plate them, and drizzle everything with the tahini sauce using a spoon. Top with carrot top fronds or other herb (if using). Serve with any extra tahini sauce on the side.