Roasted Carrots With Harissa and Crème Fraîche Recipe

Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt. Video: Serious Eats Video

Why It Works

  • Parboiling skin-on carrots before roasting lets you soften them without them losing too much moisture and shriveling up.
  • Keeping the peel intact tastes better and is less work.

Carrots have a natural affinity for spices, or, at least, in my home they do. Before they go into the oven, I like to toss them with olive oil mixed with some variety of spice blend, whether it's a chili powder (Japanese shichimi togarashi is great), a curry blend, or, in the case of the recipe here, harissa with a touch of cumin and black pepper. Afterward, I'll toss them with an herb that meshes appropriately—cilantro goes well with harissa, as does a little pool of crème fraîche to keep things cool.


Recipe Facts



Active: 20 mins
Total: 60 mins
Serves: 4 to 6 servings

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  • 2 pounds (900g) medium carrots, ends trimmed, quartered lengthwise and cut into 3-inch segments
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) crème fraîche
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) harissa paste (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  1. Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 375°F. 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. Set aside. Season crème fraîche with salt to taste and refrigerate until ready to use.

  2. Combine harissa, cumin, black pepper, and olive oil in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt. Transfer half of mixture to small bowl and set aside. Add carrots to remaining mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and spread out in an even layer. Roast until caramelized, about 40 minutes, turning once or twice during roasting. Transfer carrots to a large bowl and toss with cilantro.

  3. Spread crème fraîche on serving platter. Top with carrots and drizzle with remaining harissa mixture. Serve immediately.

Special equipment

Rimming baking sheet, large pot


Harissa is a North African chili paste that can found in specialty markets or ordered online.

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