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Nathan Englander’s comfort carrots will make you feel better.

Nathan Englander

April 10, 2020, 1:38pm

I’m tempted to include all 400 drafts of this recipe-intro, the 50 faux-cheery versions, the 50-desparing, the 18 where I told you how quickly I ate the Oreos that I’d bought for our emergency store, and the way too many versions that morphed into meditations on food insecurity and supply chains—as if I even knew the term supply chain before all this. Also, out of privacy concerns, I deleted all the ones where I admit how much matzoh I’ve been eating—I really wanted to avoid that. My wife thinks it’s weird. I really love matzoh and have been eating it nonstop since we’ve been on lockdown. Your comfort food is your comfort food, what can you do? (Though we also made a nostalgic tuna casserole along the way.)

So, as for the recipe, I have a few in my arsenal that I prefer not to share—they’re really too easy, and you get too much credit for them when you feed your friends, and it would be humiliating if people found out how little effort went into making something that tastes so good. And as to feeding friends: Friends—we will feed each other again! And, here is where I wish you and yours and all of humanity good health, and clean hands. But, if I can’t feed you in person right now, and can’t have you over, I can at least share one of the recipes that brightened a day during this time.

Also, I’ve been thinking a lot about the foods that last at home, and carrots can sit awhile before they turn bendy, and I always keep a jar of tahini in my fridge, and it sits forever (please don’t tell me if that’s bad, it always tastes fine). And I know less about nutrition than supply chains, but this seems like an extra healthy and fortifying side dish, to boot. It comes from an old friend’s new cookbook, Sababa by Adeena Sussman. And, I surely don’t have date syrup or whatever silan is, so I swapped it out with some honey. Also, the carrots I had were fat-carrots, so I cut them in half and even ignored the mid-bake flip. It’ll be fine!

Carrots
14-16 (1 1/2 pounds total) thin carrots, peeled and trimmed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Tahini Glaze (makes 1 cup)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pure tahini paste
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons silan
2 tablespoons water, more as needed
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

Roast the carrots
Preheat the oven to 425F. Arrange carrots on a large rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and cumin, shake the pan to coat the carrots, and roast them, turning once midway through, until they have softened and their edges are golden, 25-27 minutes.

Make the tahini glaze
While the carrots are roasting, whisk the olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, silan, water, salt, and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl until smooth and pourable, adding an additional tablespoon of water if necessary.

Remove the carrots from the oven, transfer them to a serving platter, drizzle them with the tahini glaze. Using tongs, gently toss to coat. 

–Recipe from Sababa, by Adeena Sussman, used by permission of the author. 

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