Monday 2 November 2015

Roasted Carrots + Crispy Chickpeas with Goats Cheese, Spinach, Pine Nuts and Herby Dressing

Let's talk about these beautiful carrots?! I was recently given these beauties and straight away I knew I couldn't just pass them as any old supper veg to simply just be overlooked and pushed aside like usual. These carrots called for a dish on its own to take pride of place as the star ingredient! 

This wintery roasted root dish is just perfect for the heritage carrots and even better if you have a rainbow of coloured alike. To the carrots you will notice I have added an array of other accompanying ingredients...chickpeas which have been lightly spiced with smoked paprika and cumin, roasted till crisp and nutty. A crumbling of creamy goats cheese and wilted spinach. Then a handful of toasted pine nuts gives even more warmth and is protein-rich too, making this a wonderful meat-free meal and you don't feel like you're missing out at all!! (Honest.)

Don't feel like you have to have this as a main meal though, it would also make a lovely side dish and any leftovers can be spooned into tupperware to provide a wholesome tasty packed lunch for the next day. 

If you have a big old platter I recommend serving it up like I did, it looks sooo good just as it is, vibrant and colourful with a scattering of more parley, it's a meal where everyone can help themselves. 

If carrots aren't enough for ya (you greedy lot) then throw in some butternut squash chunks or beets as well to roast with your carrots and get them all soft and caramelised from the orange juice. I really recommend keeping the spinach in there though as there's so many health benefits to the wonderful leaf. Read all about it here!

Roasted Carrots  +  Crispy  Chickpeas  with  Goats  Cheese,  Spinach,  Pine  Nuts  and  Herby  Dressing


For the chickpeas:
1 tin chickpeas (240g drained)
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

For the carrots:
9-12 small/medium sized heritage carrots
pinch ground cumin
pinch smoked paprika
juice of ½ orange
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

For the herby dressing:
1 heaped tbsp creme fraîche 
2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
juice of ½ lemon
salt and pepper

To serve with:
80g spinach
70g goats cheese
40g pine nuts
1 tbsp fresh parsley leaves


Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 400°F/ Gas 6.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas then pour into a bowl with the olive oil, cumin and paprika. Toss the chickpeas with your hands until evenly coated. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and then pour into a small roasting tin. Before putting the chickpeas into the oven, prepare the carrots. Make sure the carrots are clean, you may need to scrub them or even peel if you prefer. Place them onto a large roasting tray lined with baking parchment. Sprinkle over a pinch of cumin and paprika, drizzle over a good lug of oil and a squeeze of orange juice. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and use your hands to coat them all over. 

Now place the chickpeas on the top shelf of your oven and the carrots underneath. Make sure to check your chickpeas and give them a quick stir now and then to crisp them all over. Cook both the carrots and chickpeas for about 30 minutes or until tender and the chickpeas are crisp. 
To make the dressing, chop your parsley and add to a small bowl with the creme fraîche. Stir in the lemon juice and a small pinch of salt and pepper. Mix until smooth.

When the carrots and chickpeas are nearly cooked, wilt the spinach in boiling water for 30 seconds and place the pine nuts into a small frying pan over a medium heat to toast. Don't stir them, just shake the pan to evenly toast them until golden all over. 

To assemble the dish, place the chickpeas onto your serving platter and then dot the wilted spinach around and on top of the chickpeas. Next place the roasted carrots in a row and crumble over the goats cheese into small chunks. Scatter over the pine nuts and herby dressing and then finish with a final few parsley leaves to garnish. 

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