I had the most amazing whole roasted carrots with dates in a restaurant in LA a few years ago, and I loved them so much that I had to recreate them the next day and have made them many times ever since. I add a little maple syrup to the carrots as they roast to enhance their sweetness, plus some paprika and cumin to intensify the flavours. These taste amazing with everything, but they’re particularly good alongside the Miso & Sesame Glazed Aubergines. If you can get carrots in different colours, they look great.
Serves 4 as a side dish
16 small carrots (about 650g), I use carrots with the tops still on because they look nice, peeled or well scrubbed
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon paprika
4 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 220°C (fan 200°C).
Place the carrots on a baking tray, drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil, the maple syrup, both types of cumin, the paprika and salt. Toss the carrots in the mix, to make sure they’re evenly coated.
Roast for about 30 minutes, giving the carrots a shake halfway through.
Take the tray out of the oven, add the dates and mix gently, then return to the oven for a final 10 minutes, after which the carrots should be golden, sweet and delicious… and a tad wrinkly.
Recipe extracted from Deliciously Ella with Friends by Ella Mills, published by Yellow Kite, £25
Photography by Clare Winfield