A few weeks ago I had my friend Rachel over for dinner. Her book Cooking Up a Business recently hit stands and is a must read for anyone who’s ever dreamed of launching their own food brand.
Since I didn’t go to culinary school and have never held an official food-related job outside the confines of my apartment, I don’t have a ton of friends in the industry. So I always look forward to getting together with my few food soul sisters and talking shop.
Rachel and I met a few years ago right before my cookbook came out. I was doing the editor circuit trying to pitch concepts like “how to throw a semi-adult spring bread party” for magazine coverage. Rachel was one of the nicest and least intimidating of the bunch, perhaps because, even though she had a badass job as food editor of O Magazine, she was young and fun and hungry like I was.
Throughout the years, Rachel’s had me over to her place a few times – once for a potluck, and the second for a delicious and comforting bowl of green curry rice noodles. Her taste is rustic and homey (like mine), so I wanted to serve a meal that hit all those notes.
Since St. Patty’s day was coming up, I made bangers and spinach mash for the main course. It had all the necessary food groups, but I still felt like the meal needed something fresh and girly – something worthy of a former food editor. These roasted carrots with za’atar are what resulted. I used really beautiful tricolor heirloom carrots from the Farmer’s market and they had so many natural sugars that they became almost candy-like in the roasting process. Za’atar, if you haven’t used it before, gives vegetables a really magical earthiness without overwhelming the dish with any one flavor. These roasted carrots would make a perfect Passover or Easter side this time of year, when the carrots are popping up from their winter hibernation and begging to be eaten.
Roasted Carrots with Za’atar
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the carrots together with the olive oil, za'atar and sea salt until coated. Spread in an even layer and roast in the oven until browned and caramelized, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with chives, if using. Eat warm or at room temperature.