This is going to be a quick post, because I, like many of you, have a million things to do.
This recipe came about accidentally. I’ve been making a lot of bowl-style meals. Noodle bowls, buddha bowls, and bulgur bowls, to be precise. Last week, when I was assembling some bulgur bowls, I wanted to come up with a creative ingredient–something to break up the boring chopped veggies that would otherwise go in. Since I had carrots, I thought it might be nice to roast them with some seasonings. In my attempts to keep things Middle Eastern, I decided to roast them with some za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice. Za’atar is the name of a generic category of spice, containing sumac, sesame seeds, and herbs. The only herb in mine was thyme, but some also have oregano or other herbs. Za’atar is commonly used on breads (za’atar bread), dips, and in a myriad of other dishes. Google it if you don’t believe me. You could sprinkle it on almost anything to elevate the flavor, and I don’t think you’d be disappointed. Given the variability in za’atar blends, I recommend buying yours from a Middle Eastern specialty store, so you really get the highest quality.
So back to my carrots. What a success! They were so tasty, and so easy to make! A little spicy, a little nutty, a little herbal. Yum yum yum. It took me no extra time to sprinkle some spice on the chopped carrots, but it totally changed the flavor. You can bet I’ll do this again and again.
Note: I made enough to use a small amount in our bulgur bowls. You could easily multiply this recipe to feed a large crowd, though.
This dish would be perfect on its own, as a side dish, but it worked well in my forthcoming bulgur bowls. What’s your favorite way to use za’atar?
- 5 medium-large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped into equal, bite-sized pieces
- ¼ onion (any type), roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon canola oil (or another mild oil)
- 2 teaspoons za'atar
- salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Combine all ingredients except salt on a baking sheet. Use your hands to combine, ensuring the seasoning and oil are well mixed with the vegetables.
- Roast for 30 minutes, or until the carrots are starting to brown, and are tender.
- Remove from the oven, and season with salt to taste.
- Serve as a side dish, or cooled in a salad.