Why It Works
- Blanching the carrots first, then roasting them, leads to more tender, sweeter results.
- Lightly bitter black sesame paste makes a dressing that is a striking visual and flavor contrast to the sweet carrots.
Black sesame paste has a deep, earthy flavor with an edge of bitterness. With the help of little more than lemons and olive oil, it's transformed into a dressing for tender roasted carrots, which makes for a visually striking dish with contrasting flavors.
- 1 pound small carrots (450g)
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (15ml), plus more for drizzling on carrots
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) black sesame paste (see note)
- 1 teaspoon fresh juice from 1 lemon (5ml), plus finely grated lemon zest for garnish
- Minced fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems, for garnish
Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Place carrots in a large pot, cover with water, and season heavily with salt. Heat over high heat until boiling. Reduce to a simmer and cook until barely tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and allow to dry for 5 minutes.
Transfer carrots to a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with just enough olive oil to coat, and roast until caramelized, about 40 minutes, turning once or twice during roasting.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together sesame paste, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and lemon juice. Season with salt.
Arrange carrots on a serving plate, drizzle with sesame sauce, and garnish with parsley and grated lemon zest. Serve.
Rimmed baking sheet
If you can't find black sesame paste, you can substitute tahini.