Thyme Roasted Carrots with Sorghum and Harissa Honey Vinaigrette


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I’ve had a version of this recipe in my back pocket since last January when I held a class at the East End Food Institute in Southhampton, NY. So it’s about time I share it with you all!

It’s the perfect dish for ushering in these first few days of fall. And the leftovers keep well — which means it’s a perfect meal prep lunch option too with a big handful of arugula for extra greens.

But I think my favorite thing about this dish is that is uses SORGHUM.

Most of us know sorghum as a type of sweetener or syrup. But that syrup has to come from somewhere — a delicious, chewy, nutty, gluten-free, fiber-packed grain.

I don’t know about you, but a lot of the time I get stuck into food ruts (yes, even me) — eating the same thing over and over — and then I get bored and uninspired. I mean how many times can you really eat brown rice or quinoa? Which is why I like having a stocked pantry full of different ingredients for flavor, texture, and nutrient diversity.

Also always in my pantry is harissa (a north-African chili pepper paste). Here it’s in the dressing — which is equally good over roasted sweet potatoes or a massaged kale salad — but I also love adding harissa to soups or when roasting chicken for a spicy kick.

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Adding whole coriander seeds rather than ground adds a fun textural contrast to the salad and burst of lemony flavor.

Thyme Roasted Carrots with Sorghum and Harissa Honey Vinaigrette  

Serves 4-6 | Time: 60 minutes (plus soaking time)

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked sorghum (soaked in filtered water for 8-12 hours)
1 1/2 pounds medium-sized multicolored or orange carrots
3 medium shallots, halved lengthwise
10-12 fresh thyme springs
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. whole coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint and/or parsley, plus more for topping
Fine sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Harissa Honey Vinaigrette (recipe below)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add drained and rinsed sorghum and cook until chewy, but tender — anywhere from 30-50 minutes. (Cook time varies based on the freshness and length of soak for the sorghum.) Once cooked, drain very well and toss with half of the Harissa Honey Vinaigrette while still warm.

While the sorghum is cooking — add carrots, shallots, olive oil, thyme, coriander seeds, salt, and pepper to the prepared sheet pan and toss to coat. Roast the carrots in the oven for 25-30 minutes until tender and caramelized around the edges.

Add roasted carrots and mint/parsley to the dressed sorghum. Taste and add additional dressing as needed. Serve warm or room temperature topped with additional herbs 

Storage: This salad makes great leftovers and will keep several days in the fridge. Try adding some fresh arugula as the base for a lunch salad.

Give it crunch: Top with toasted walnuts, hazelnuts, or pumpkin seeds.

Variations: Swap cooked quinoa for the sorghum or roast sweet potatoes instead or the carrots.

Harissa Honey Vinaigrette

Makes roughly 1/2 cup vinaigrette

Ingredients:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. harissa paste (to taste and depending on brand)
1 tsp. raw, local honey
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
Fine sea salt, to taste
Several grinds fresh black pepper

Directions:

Combine ingredients together in a mason jar, close lid tightly, and shake until well combined and emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly — more spice, lemon, salt, etc.

Store any leftover dressing in the fridge for 4-5 days.