ZA’ATAR ROASTED CARROTS WITH TZATZIKI

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Roasted carrots have been my favorite snack lately. Whether you roast them with some olive oil, salt and pepper or with some herbs and butter, they always turn out to be super delicious and satisfying. I have been roasting carrots with quite a few herbs and spices combinations but this one with za’atar has been an ultimate palate pleaser. The unique earthy flavor of za’atar perfectly complements the sweet, tender and smoky flavor of roasted carrots. To lift the taste of this dish a notch up, serve it with a fresh and tangy tzatziki dip. It will complete and elevate the flavor profile of this dish.

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For this recipe I have used rainbow carrots but honestly you can use any carrots you have. I usually prefer the taste of peeled carrots but sometimes when I am in a rush I leave the skins on. If you are not peeling the carrots, make sure to scrub them clean to remove all the dirt. The best part about this recipe is that you just need a few ingredients and a baking tray. Throw all your carrots on the baking tray, drizzle some olive oil, add the spices and you are done. Just pop it into the oven, bake until the carrots are golden brown and tender and you will have a delicious snack ready in a jiffy.

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Roasting brings out the inherent sweetness in carrots. And the za’atar adds a herby and nutty taste from the thyme, marjoram, sesame seeds and a sweet kick from the sumac. I have also added some roasted cumin powder to the carrots just to suit my Indian taste buds. I love how roasting turns almost any vegetable into a crispy, caramelized delicacy. Once the carrots are done, I sprinkle some fresh dill and squeeze some lime juice to enhance the taste.  You can also top it off with some pepitas to add a crunch.

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For the dip, I went for tzatziki this time. I have tried having these carrots with hummus too but for some reason I prefer the creamy and tart tzatziki over the dense and rich hummus. Tzatziki is made simply with yogurt, cucumber, dill, mint, olive oil, garlic, lime juice and salt. It’s refreshing and tangy, and when you dip those warm tender carrots in this chilled dip, it’s ultimate happiness.

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Carrots are very healthy with high beta carotene, antioxidents and fiber. They are relatively high in carbs, so if you prefer a low carb diet you should probably limit them. Should there be leftovers, you can store them in the fridge for 3 – 4 days and reheat in the microwave for 1 – 2 minutes. You can also use the leftovers by chopping and adding them in a salad for your lunch or even having it for breakfast with a toast and fried egg. Roasting veggies is such a great way to incorporate vegetables in your diet. Like carrots, you can roast any other root vegetable too. So make this recipe for your own and you and your entire family will fall in love with this dish and will want it time and time again! Happy cooking!!

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Ingredients

  • 2 bunches tri-colored carrots
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons za’atar
  • 2 teaspoons roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • salt & pepper as per taste
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dill, chopped

For tzatziki

  • 1 grated cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dill, chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt

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Instructions

  • Preheat the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • On a lined baking tray, lay the carrots, drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle some salt, pepper, roasted cumin powder and za’atar.

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  • Give the carrots a nice toss to evenly coat them with oil and spices.

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  • Roast the carrots for 20 – 35 minutes, until the carrots are easily pierced by the fork.
  • To make the Tzatziki dip, combine the grated cucumber, olive oil, mint, dill, lemon juice, garlic, salt and Greek yogurt in a bowl and mix nicely.

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  • Transfer the roasted carrots to a serving plate and sprinkle chopped dill and sesame seeds over it. Also squeeze a dash of lime juice over the carrots and serve with with chilled tzatziki dip.

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