Root crops rock! Carrots are a welcome addition to our farmer’s markets and fridge in the late summer and fall months. But often people get in a creative rut on what to do with the little orange things in the kitchen, besides using them as humus dipping sticks and juicing.
Here’s a carrot dish that is sure to impress your family and friends. Hot off the grill, these carrots are tossed with a smoky sweet rub then topped with a creamy sweet fraiche. This is one of the only carrot dishes you’ll find that truly deserves to be the main dish and not just a sidekick.
Tip: While homemade cream fraiche is definitely worth the effort, it can take a day to thicken. Cut the prep time down by using a store bought crème fraiche (we dig Trader Joe’s version) and add a little maple syrup.
2 pounds carrots
3 tablespoon butter
½ cup walnuts
BBQ spice blend (see below)
Maple crème fraiche (see below)
BBQ Spice Ingredients:
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cayenne
Maple Crème Fraiche Ingredients:
½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon buttermilk
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Prepare the crème fraiche. Combine heavy cream and buttermilk in a small glass container, cover with a cheese cloth or a kitchen towel and let sit at room temperature for 18-24 hours or until thickened. Once crème fraiche is thickened add the maple syrup and stir. Refrigerate until served.
Trim ends from carrots, peel and cut into 1/4” x 1/4” x 4” pieces.
Blanch carrots for 5 minutes and cool in ice water.
Blend the BBQ spice ingredients and set aside.
Grill carrots on a medium high grill for 2-3 minutes or until lightly charred.
Add carrots to a baking dish or sauce pan and toss with a third of the prepared BBQ spice blend. Add butter and walnuts and place under the broiler of an oven until walnuts are toasted. Spoon the maple crème fraiche and the remainder of the BBQ spice blend over the top of the carrots.
Photography by Patrick Lipsker