Roasted Carrots with Farro, Chickpeas & Herbed Crème Fraîche
This roasted carrot recipe looks gourmet, but it's surprisingly easy to make! It would be a lovely side dish on your holiday table or a great weeknight dinner on its own.
Recipe yields 4 to 8 servings, depending on portions.
Farro and chickpeas
1 cup dried farro, rinsed
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
½ teaspoon salt
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1½ cups cooked chickpeas
1 pound slender heirloom carrots, scrubbed clean and patted dry (I didn't peel mine)
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
½ teaspoon olive oil
Pinch of cumin
Pinch of chili powder
Pinch of salt
Herbed crème fraîche
⅓ cup Vermont Creamery crème fraîche
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons water
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 more tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
To cook the farro: In a medium saucepan, combine the rinsed farro with at least three cups water (enough water to cover the farro by a couple of inches). Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the farro is tender to the bite but still pleasantly chewy (pearled farro will take around 15 minutes; unprocessed farro will take 25 to 40 minutes). Drain off the excess water and return the farro to the pot. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil, the lemon juice, garlic and ½ teaspoon salt. Mix well, then add the chickpeas and stir to combine. Set aside, covered, until you’re ready to assemble.
To roast the carrots: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and add the carrots. Drizzle them with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with cumin, salt and pepper. Use your fingers to make sure the carrots are lightly and evenly coated in oil and spices. Roast for 20 to 35 minutes, until the carrots are easily pierced by a fork near the top of their stems. Roasting time will depend entirely on the size of your carrots. I removed some of the more slender carrots at 20 minutes and checked them at 5 minute intervals thereafter, removing the carrots as they were done.
To toast the pepitas: In a small skillet over medium heat, warm ½ teaspoon olive oil until shimmering. Add the pepitas and generous pinches of cumin, chili powder and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the pepitas are turning golden on the edges and starting to make little popping noises. Remove from heat to cool.
To make the herbed crème fraîche, combine the crème fraîche, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, water, and a few dashes of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.
To assemble the dish, pour the farro and chickpea mixture onto a large serving platter. Arrange the carrots in a single layer over the mixture. Drizzle herbed crème fraîche generously over the carrots, then sprinkle them with pepitas and one tablespoon chopped fresh parsley. Serve immediately or let the dish cool to room temperature (it’s good either way!).
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