Baby Carrots with Lentils
Here’s an idea to make baby carrots the star of a quick vegetable main course. Jiggle it around as you see fit. When I roast tomatoes, I do a whole tray so I can use them in dishes like this, or to serve on top of pasta, pizza or bruschetta or in sandwiches. They will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge. If there is no time to roast tomatoes, and you don’t have any on hand, quickly fry halved tomatoes on a barbecue grill plate. You need the sweet-sharp acidity here to add interest to the dish.
Dress the carrots with a garlicky vinaigrette for more flavour, or drizzle everything with extra virgin olive oil once the dish is assembled.
Instead of cooking carrots from scratch, you can make this dish with leftover baby roasties (carrots, beetroot, parsnips).
You can use green or brown lentils, or canned lentils. I always keep a can of lentils in the pantry (use a brand that is additive and salt free), because if you have roasted tomatoes to hand and leftover roasties, you can pull a meal like this together in less than 5 minutes – that’s faster than you can fetch takeaway food or order in a takeout service! And it’s all good delicious food.
I also like to add small rocket leaves as a base for added greenery. Serve with crusty bread with extra feta on the side to squelch onto the bread, and away you go. A simple and tasty dinner, that’s as good for you as it looks.
Baby carrots, trimmed, peeled if preferred, boiled, steamed or roasted
Cooked lentils (you could use canned lentils for a speedy dish)
Extra virgin olive oil, or vinaigrette
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Creamy style feta, crumbled
Roasted tomatoes Recipe here
Baby basil leaves
Baked Baby Carrots with Pancetta
Pancetta is sweet and salty and gorgeous with carrots, though you don’t need much of it. Trim baby carrots and peel if preferred. Cut each carrot in half lengthways. Put carrots in a shallow roasting dish lined with baking (parchment) paper. Drizzle with just a slick of olive oil. Lift the sides of the paper to help coat the carrot pieces in oil, then lay them flat. Scatter with a little pancetta. Add a few thyme leaves if liked. Bake for 15 minutes in a hot oven, 220°C (425°F), or until pancetta is golden. Serve hot.
Baby Carrots with Pine Nuts & Marjoram
Lightly toast pine nuts in a slick of oil in a small pan over medium heat. Tip them onto paper towels and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Trim baby carrots and peel if preferred. Boil or steam carrots, letting them retain a little crunch. Dry off on paper towels. Transfer to a serving plate and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Scatter with pine nuts and small marjoram leaves. Season with a few pinches of flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve.