This dish is a love letter to spring, best friends and the most memorable dish I’ve ever had. Ten years ago, at the beloved FnB in Scottsdale, AZ I had an encounter that forever changed the way I thought of carrots. Chef Badman, 2019 James Beard Best Chef in the Southwest Award Winner, referred to as “The Veggie Whisperer” by locals, took the formerly disregarded root veg, dusted her off, straightened her crown and threw her on stage. I don’t remember all of the elements but I do remember the indecent moans and grunts coming from our table. I’ve seen others try to put their own spins on carrot dishes in similar fashions but the mark is always missed and makes me sad that I’ll probably never get to experience that magic again.
Better to have loved and lost, as they say…
The fields are sparse this time of year but there are a few champions that are starting the ‘23 party season off strong. First on the scene every March are herbs. Chives are a given but we also have parsley and cilantro that we grew in our greenhouse all winter and they are always begging for a harvest Herbs alone don’t make a meal so thankfully, some late-fall ‘22 carrots are finally reaching a size where it’s worth the effort to dig them out and hose the mud off. I am lightyears behind Chef Badman but thanks to the memory of that night, I was able to scrounge the fields and create this dish that is bright, sweet yet “oomph-y” and had me kinda feeling myself as a home cook. Best shared with dear friends but totally ok to hoard for yourself as well, which I kinda did. Bonus, the leftover components made for a delicious open faced sandwich topped with an egg for the next day’s lunch.
For the carrots -
2lbs Carrots cut into thick sticks
Good Pinch of Kosher or Sea Salt Salt
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Garlic Powder
2 Tbsp Honey
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
For Creamy Chive Base-
½ c Chives, roughly chopped
12oz Cottage Cheese
1 Lemon zested and juiced
2 Tbsp Oilive Oil
Salt to Taste
2 cans Chickpeas drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp Kosher or Sea Salt
2 tsp Paprika
2 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Garlic Powder
¾ c Olive Oil
1 Bunch Parsley finely chopped
Red Chili Flake - to provide “heat” nto spice so shake per your tastes
2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
Juice and Zest of half a lemon
1 tsp Sugar
¼ c finely chopped golden raisins
Kosher or Sea Salt to Taste.
Preheat oven to 415 degrees
For the Carrot. Whisk oil, salt, onion and garlic powder and honey together. Toss to coat.
For crispy chickpeas - Lightly mash chickpeas and combine with spices
Add parchment paper to baking sheets and add dressed carrots ensuring they are evenly spaced. On separate sheet with parchment paper add chickpea mash and evenly distribute. Roast in your oven for 15 minutes. Take out chickpeas. Mix around and add back to the oven for 5 more minutes or until partially crispy. Carrots should be done or left for another 5 minutes until partially caramelized.
While chickpeas and carrots are cooking, blend creamy chive base by adding all ingredients to a blender or food processor.
For Parsley Oil combine all ingredients in a bowl.
Assemble individually or family style. Spread creamy chive base to serving platter. Add carrots, top with chickpeas and drizzle with parsley oil. Serve immediately or store components separately up to two days before serving. Entire recipe takes about 45min to make.