first harvest + karma carrots with tarragon + cumin

Oh hey there – did you forget about me? I hope not. The month of May was a quiet one in the kitchen… all of the exciting action really been in the backyard garden. Over the past few weeks, most (ok… all) of our time was invested in figuring out how to maximize the amount of food we can grow this summer. Who needs a lawn when I can have unreasonable amounts of tomatoes, squash, and eggplant? Who wants to grocery shop in her backyard? This girl.

To achieve the dream, we added a few new raised beds to accommodate more leafy greens like red russian and lacinato kales, red and green cabbage, carrots and rainbow chard. We also have five types of tomatoes, french breakfast radishes, golden beets, yellow squash, yellow zucchini, and two types of eggplant and a bunch of herbs.

french radishes

Seriously – it’s been so long since I’ve written to you that we’ve already pulled our first bunches of radishes and kale. We have all sorts of things planted, tangled, and hanging, and soon enough – with any luck – we’ll be overflowing with homegrown goodness.

red russian + lacinato kales

The most difficult growing challenge this year has been coaxing our our carrot seeds to sprout. I’m not sure if it’s because we sowed them outside just a hair (hare!) too late – or if the birds in our neighborhood are mindlessly confused about which seeds are for them and which are seeds are off limits. I’m really trying to give them the benefit of the doubt…

carrots + tarragon

So – in an effort to put a little good karma into the universe towards our carrot growing – I’ve come up with an insanely simple recipe I hope you’ll make and present at the alter of the carrot gods. I made this a few times and enjoyed it very much. It’s another of those recipes born out of whatever I had on hand and ended up in the rotation.

Honestly, cumin and tarragon are not a combination I would have immediately put together.Tarragon and carrots, yes… Cumin, orange juice, and carrots… yes. Combine whatever I have because I need to make a roasted vegetable side dish to finish dinner in 20 minutes or I will be inconsolably hangry? Absolutely! Tarragon adds a lovely sweetness and cumin adds a little bit of warm, subtle spice. Adjust the amounts according to your preferences, either way, you’ll be happy.

roasted carrots with cumin + tarragon

If you’re not a fan of cumin, you could easily leave it out, but be a little adventurous. You could also replace the carrots (or add to the pan) with  parsnips, beets, radishes or a combination of most any root vegetable. If you have some dry tarragon, you can use that, too.

There are endless possibilities here – the roasted carrots make for a hearty but healthy side dish to grilled chicken or hold their own over herbed quinoa dressed with some tahini. Go crazy – you get the idea.

Recipe for Roasted Carrots with Cumin + Tarragon:

8-10 medium carrots, washed and peeled if desired
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped (1 ½ tablespoons dry tarragon if substituting.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch kosher salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prep a casserole dish with a little cooking spray (or brush with a little  extra olive oil).
2. Slice carrots into one inch wide coins – or an angle, if you’re feeling fancy. Rough chop the tarragon.
3. Toss carrots, cumin, tarragon, and salt with the olive oil and pour into dish.
4. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until carrots are soft when pierced with a knife.