Zaatar Roasted Carrots with Labneh, an exotic side dish that combines three wonderful ingredients. Small, organic carrots tossed in homemade zaatar spice then roasted to perfection and served alongside a creamy homemade labneh. Flavor, after flavor, texture after texture you’ll be transported to the Middle East in just one mouthful.
For the Labneh (adapted on a recipe from NOPI by Yotam Ottolenghi & Ramael Scully):
- 1 cup organic Greek yogurt, better full fat
- 1 Tbsp evo oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the Zaatar spice (from a recipe found on Feasting at Home):
- 1 Tbsp dried thyme, crushed
- 1 Tbsp cumin seeds, toasted and crushed
- 1 Tbsp coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 Tbsp sumac
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp chili flakes
For the Carrots:
- 350 g carrots
- 2 1/2 Tbsp e.v.o. oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp zaatar spice
- 2 Tbsp parsley
- 1/4 lemon
For the Labneh:
- In a small bowl mix together the yogurt, the evo oil, and the salt.
- Place on a clean square of cheesecloth, draw up the sides, close it with a string and hang it inside a tall and narrow pitcher making sure it hangs inside freely and does not touch the bottom of the pitcher.
- Leave it in the refrigerator for 24 hours to drain out the excess water. If you are short on time you can squeeze the cloth from time to time.
- Once ready, open the cheesecloth and use dollops of labneh, drizzled with evo oil (and maybe sprinkled with herbs and a drizzle of lemon juice). You can store any leftover in a jar with some oil until ready to use.
For the Zaatar spice:
- In a small pan over medium heat, toast cumin seeds, and coriander seeds until fragrant, about 2 minutes, then grind or crush with a mortar and pestle. (If you don’t have whole seeds, you can use ground spices).
- In a small bowl, add the toasted and ground cumin and coriander, sesame seeds, crushed thyme, sumac, salt, and chili flakes. Mix well. Store in a jar.
For the Carrots:
- Preheat oven to 425° F. Place a baking sheet in the oven and leave it there as the oven preheats.
- Clean the carrots, add them to a bowl with the evo oil and salt. Mix with your hands to combine.
- Add the zaatar spice and toss.
- Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven. Arrange carrots in a single layer. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until fork tender and caramelized, stirring once after the 10-minute mark.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Place the carrots on a platter. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and lemon juice.
- Place dollops of labneh on the sides of the carrots. Drizzle evo oil on the labneh and carrots.