Inspired by a favorite dish at one of my favorite restaurants, Via Carota.
These carrots may be ubiquitous but they are always a hit.
3 large or 4 medium carrots per person, they shrink substantially in the oven
2 large handfuls of parsley, tougher stems removed, softer stems ok
2 Tablespoon capers, drained
¼ cup pistachios
Zest of one lemon
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
labneh or a thick whole-milk plain yogurt
To roast the carrots:
Turn your oven to 400º
Scrub the carrots well. I peel my carrots only if they absolutely need it, but if you want to do so.
Cut the carrots in half, then cut those halves in half lengthwise. If the carrots are very big quarter those halves instead. The most important thing here is not the shape but that the carrots be as even in size as possible so that they all cook at the same time.
Line a sheet tray with parchment. Place the carrots on the tray. Pour a generous glug of olive oil on them and rub the carrots to cover them in oil. Spread them evenly on the tray and sprinkle them with salt. The best way to sprinkle the salt lightly and evenly over the carrots is to do it from chest hight moving your hand over the tray of carrots.
Cover the sheet tray with aluminum foil. Bake the carrots for 25 minutes.
Carefully uncover the carrots, there will be steam— don’t get a burn! Lower to 375º and bake for another 20 minutes. Check on them a few times while they cook without the foil in case your oven runs really hot— you want a little color on the edges but not too, too much.
They are ready when tender when pierced with a fork.
To make the pistachio parsley pesto:
In the bowl of a food processor pulse the herbs and capers to chop them.
Add the pistachios and pulse them to a size somewhere between chunky and a fine grind.
With the machine running add the oil. Transfer to a small bowl or jar. Microplane the garlic and zest the lemon over the sauce, add the lemon juice, and stir with a spoon. Taste and adjust the salt. Add a little more oil if the sauce feels tight. You want it loose and drizzly but not too oily.
Schmear a heaping Tablespoon of labneh on the bottom of the plate, heap carrots on top and drizzle with the pistachio parsley sauce.