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Charred Whole Carrots with Pistachio Puree

This Mediterranean-influenced side dish may overshadow the main course. Its puree of pistachio, feta, and dill perfectly complements charred carrots and can be used for other roasted vegetables as well.

charred carrots on a pistachio puree

Charred whole carrots over pistachio, feta, and dill puree. Photo: Apolline Martin

This charred whole carrots recipe is all about the dip. While I call it a puree here, the base of this charred whole carrots recipe was designed to be like a Mediterranean-influenced dipping sauce, something that pairs well with a variety of roasted or cooked vegetables. The flavors have to work, of course, but this also serves the practical purpose for a restaurant chef working with hyper-seasonal produce, as I’ve done in California for years. The seasons and vegetables may change, but the puree, with its base of pistachio, feta, and dill is a workhorse, ready to accompany whatever you pick up at the market.

While I’ve tried at least a dozen variations on this dish with vegetables ranging from corn to cauliflower to Brussels sprouts, carrots work best with the technique I use here. Rather than simply roasting the carrots, this recipe calls for charring the carrots in canola oil, one side at a time, then finishing in the oven before being placed atop the puree.

The result is a flavorful side dish or appetizer that can enliven a family-style menu, and may just steal the show. Best of all is that the leftover puree can be used as a dip for other ingredients you have lying around. If there is any leftover, that is.

Richard Martin contributed to this post.

Charred Whole Carrots with Pistachio, Feta, and Dill

Charred Whole Carrots with Pistachio, Feta, and Dill

Recipe by Michael Fiorelli
5.0 from 1 vote
Course: SidesCuisine: Mediterranean
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes

Ingredients

  • For The Pistachio Puree
  • ¾ cup pistachios

  • 2 large 2 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 3 oz. 3 olive oil

  • 6 ounces 6 feta cheese

  • ½ cup crème fraîche or plain yogurt

  • ¾ cup parsley, large stems removed, roughly chopped

  • ¼ cup dill (soft stems are ok), roughly chopped, with a few dill fronds reserved

  • Pinch sea salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

  • For The Carrots
  • 16 medium 16 carrots. About six inches each in length and the width of your thumb.

  • 3 tablespoons 3 canola oil, separated

  • 2 teaspoons 2 kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon 1 cracked black pepper plus more for garnish

  • Pinch sea salt

  • 2 teaspoons 2 olive oil to finish

Directions

  • For The Pistachio Puree
  • In the bowl of a food processor, blend the pistachios, garlic, and olive oil until they are a smooth paste (about 3 minutes).
  • Add herbs and blend until smooth.
  • Add feta and crème fraîche or plain yogurt and blend until slightly smooth and everything is incorporated.
  • Season with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
  • For The Carrots
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Toss carrots in one tablespoon of canola oil, kosher salt and 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper.
  • Heat a large pan over medium high heat. You will need to work in batches, transferring the cooked carrots to a baking tray.
  • Pour the remaining canola oil in the pan. When the oil is shimmering, begin adding carrots one at a time until the pan is full but not crowded.
  • At this point do not move the carrots. Continue to cook on each side until deeply charred. Transfer to the baking sheet and repeat with remaining carrots.
  • When all of the carrots are charred and on the baking sheet, place them in a the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes or until easily pierced with a paring knife.
  • Meanwhile, on a plate large enough to hold all of the carrots, spread the pistachio puree directly on the bottom of the plate.
  • Remove the carrots from the oven and place them on top of the pistachio puree.
  • Finish by drizzling 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and top with a few cracks of fresh black pepper, a pinch of sea salt, and the reserved dill fronds

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