Can we talk about how beautiful those rainbow carrots are?! You are looking good today, carrots. Looking good. So utterly dazzling, in fact, that I can hardly take my eyes off of those carrots to write about the rest of this recipe. Here we go.
This stunning roasted carrot recipe features warm whole grains, protein-rich chickpeas, spiced pepitas and a light herbed crème fraîche sauce. Don’t be intimidated by its gourmet looks—it’s remarkably simple to make, once you get down to it. This recipe would be a lovely vegetarian option/side dish on the holiday table or a well-balanced weeknight dinner.
Whew. I want to point out that crème fraîche sauce. Crème fraîche is new to me, so I imagine it’s probably new to a lot of you as well. Basically, it’s a French version of sour cream. It’s a thick, cultured cream that offers lovely, rich flavor and a light tang.
You can use crème fraîche in recipes that call for sour cream or heavy cream, whether savory or sweet. It’s a great addition to soups because, unlike sour cream, it won’t curdle at high temperatures.
Crème fraîche is becoming more widely available at grocery stores now, thanks to Vermont Creamery. You may have noticed that bright pink container in the gourmet cheese area of your stores, so you now you know what it is! I have found it at Whole Foods and at several grocery stores near me. Vermont Creamery works with dairy farmers in the Vermont area to produce superior dairy products without added growth hormones, so I feel good recommending their products to you.
- 1 cup dried farro, rinsed
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1½ cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 pound slender heirloom carrots, scrubbed clean and patted dry (I didn't peel mine)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
- ½ teaspoon olive oil
- Pinch of cumin
- Pinch of chili powder
- Pinch of salt
- ⅓ cup Vermont Creamery crème fraîche
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons water
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 more tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- To cook the farro: In a medium saucepan, combine the rinsed farro with at least three cups water (enough water to cover the farro by a couple of inches). Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the farro is tender to the bite but still pleasantly chewy (pearled farro will take around 15 minutes; unprocessed farro will take 25 to 40 minutes). Drain off the excess water and return the farro to the pot. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil, the lemon juice, garlic and ½ teaspoon salt. Mix well, then add the chickpeas and stir to combine. Set aside, covered, until you’re ready to assemble.
- To roast the carrots: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and add the carrots. Drizzle them with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with cumin, salt and pepper. Use your fingers to make sure the carrots are lightly and evenly coated in oil and spices. Roast for 20 to 35 minutes, until the carrots are easily pierced by a fork near the top of their stems. Roasting time will depend entirely on the size of your carrots. I removed some of the more slender carrots at 20 minutes and checked them at 5 minute intervals thereafter, removing the carrots as they were done.
- To toast the pepitas: In a small skillet over medium heat, warm ½ teaspoon olive oil until shimmering. Add the pepitas and generous pinches of cumin, chili powder and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the pepitas are turning golden on the edges and starting to make little popping noises. Remove from heat to cool.
- To make the herbed crème fraîche, combine the crème fraîche, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, water, and a few dashes of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.
- To assemble the dish, pour the farro and chickpea mixture onto a large serving platter. Arrange the carrots in a single layer over the mixture. Drizzle herbed crème fraîche generously over the carrots, then sprinkle them with pepitas and one tablespoon chopped fresh parsley. Serve immediately or let the dish cool to room temperature (it’s good either way!).
Make it dairy free/vegan: Lemony tahini sauce with parsley would be great here, too. Mix together ⅓ cup tahini, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, then thin it out with water as necessary. Season to taste with salt and additional lemon juice.
This post was created in partnership with Vermont Creamery and I received compensation for my participation. Opinions are my own, always. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who support C+K!