There's nothing quite like roasting carrots and garlic in their whole form. The carrots caramelize and the skin wrinkles up a bit. They're beautiful to serve this way and very satisfying to eat. Plus, you save a step not chopping them. The garlic, protected roasting in its jacket, caramelizes and becomes very sweet and mild. Both are simple ideas that I don't do often enough.
In this platter, the carrots are placed over a bed of black lentils that I zhoozh up (yes, apparently this is a word) with lemon, cilantro, and olive oil. An incredibly fragrant trio, not to be underestimated, especially when added to the still-steaming hot lentils. The miso sauce is made creamy and bright with tahini, lemon, and orange. And there's plenty to go around - this sauce is a must for passing at the table.
With the fresh, bright flavors of citrus and cilantro, sweet caramelized carrots and garlic, and creamy umami from the miso tahini sauce, this makes a beautiful centerpiece for the holidays or any special meal.
Roasted Carrot & Black Lentil Platter with Citrus Miso Sauce
2 bunches of medium carrots, root end trimmed (~20 carrots)
1 1/2 Tbsp. ghee + 1 1/2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium-large orange
8 large cloves of garlic (keep skin on)
Lemon Cilantro Black Lentil Salad (recipe below)
Citrus Miso Sauce (recipe below)
Lemon Cilantro Black Lentil Salad
Notes: If lentils are not soaked, cooking time will be longer.
1 1/2 cups (305 gr.) black lentils (preferably soaked 4-8 hours)
1/2 medium juicy lemon
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp. salt & black pepper, to taste
Handful cilantro - with tender stems (10 gr), chopped
Citrus Miso Sauce
2 Tbsp. white miso
3 heaped Tbsp. tahini
2 Tbsp. lemon juice (~1 small, juicy lemon)
4 Tbsp. orange juice (~3/4 large, juicy orange)
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. maple syrup or honey
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Preheat oven to roast at 415 F/212 C. Place ghee in a very large baking dish or sheet pan and place in preheating oven to melt. Remove dish, add olive oil and mix with ghee.
Slice orange rounds, discarding end pieces (~ 6 slices). And remove seeds. Add whole carrots, orange slices, garlic cloves (with skin on), salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine with ghee and olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes. Remove oranges to a plate. Turn carrots over to brown on other side. Return to oven for another 10 minutes. Remove skin from garlic cloves before serving.
In the meantime, rinse and drain lentils if pre-soaked. Cook in boiling water until al dente (7-10 minutes if pre-soaked). Drain, return to pot and immediately while still hot, add lemon, olive oil, cilantro, salt and pepper. Stir well, set aside.
Make the miso sauce: Add everything to a small mixing bowl and mix until well combined. Consistency should be pourable, like pancake batter. If not (and possible if your tahini is thick), add water to thin and adjust seasoning.
Plate it! Place lentil salad on a large platter. Layer with roasted carrots, orange slices, and cloves of garlic (don't forget to remove the garlic skins!). Garnish with cilantro and drizzle with some of the miso sauce. Serve remaining sauce for passing at the table.