My favourite Spring (actually, anytime of the year) side has been adapted from a recipe that I found years ago, tweeked and then created this delicious, vibrant and crowd pleasing vegetable side for any gathering large or small. It can be served on a bed of baby spinach, freekah or quinoa
Trio of Roasted Carrots with Labne
(cook time 40 mins)
4 medium carrots, peeled, cut into chunky lengths on the diagonal
4 purple carrots, peeled, cut into chunky lengths on the diagonal
1 bunch Dutch carrots, peeled
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 cup freekah
¼ cup currants
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup walnuts
335g labne or can use smooth Dutch fetta cheese
¼ cup flat leaf parsley
¼ cup mint
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease two large oven trays; line with baking paper.
Divide carrots, olive oil on trays and toss to combine. Roast in oven for 20 mins, turning once. Remove from oven, drizzle honey over carrots and roast for a further 10 mins or until golden and tender. In the last 5 minutes, add walnuts onto a separate small oven tray and roast for 5 mins.
Meanwhile, place 1 cup of freekah in a saucepan with 2½ cups of water, a pinch of salt and 1 tbsp olive oil and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and spread across the base of a platter or large serving dish.
Stir currants and vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat for 2 minutes or until hot and some liquid has been absorbed into the currants.
Transfer carrot mixture on top of the freekah; spoon currant mixture over the carrots, dollop spoonfuls of labne randomly around the platter, scatter roasted walnuts over the dish and top with combined mint and flat leaf parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Variation: can be adapted to gluten free by using quinoa instead of freekah.