slow roasted carrots & harissa yogurt


earlier this week, david and i had veterans day off together. as a public school teacher, he get's all sorts of paid days off... and now i finally have some flexibility with my schedule to take time off to join him. we had grand plans to break out of seattle and climb in leavenworth all day. the forecast showed sun so we hopped in the car and drove east. when we got there, it was 28 degrees and cloudy. david assured me that we'd get used to it and that if we warmed up, bouldering in the cold wouldn't be too bad. knowing that we'll be in some cold weather next month climbing in red rocks nevada, i tried to be tough and give it a go. i give myself some credit for trying. i pulled on to a bunch of routes but couldn't top anything out before my hands would freeze. it was still fun and i'm looking forward to hopefully slightly less chilly climbing in red rocks soon! 

since our latest trip to leavenworth, it has been perfectly clear yet awfully chilly in seattle. yesterday, we had another lovely day off together. to appease my quiche cravings, david drove us all the way across town to my favorite bakery, honore, for a slice of quiche and lattes. from there we circled over to the university district farmers market. back in college, i lived in a loft across the street from this farmers market. my saturday routine always involved a fresh juice from chaco canyon and a savory pastry from one of the vendors at the market. if it wasn't raining, i'd put my vegetable haul away and then take my pastry out onto the balcony and enjoy my breakfast. i miss that adorable bohemian loft. the house has since been torn down and some terrible apodment like thing has taken its place. at some point in my absence, the u district market expanded and now takes over several blocks instead the parking lot my balcony used to look out to. it's a wonderful year-round market and buzzes with shoppers even on the chilliest morning of the year season so far. we picked out some winter squashes, some fancy short ribs, and a pound of colorful young carrots that i knew would be perfect for roasting. david reminded me of the roasted carrot salad we shared ages ago at the whale wins. there, they serve fire-roasted carrots with a smokey spiced harissa yogurt sauce. it's been a year or more since i tried their dish, but i figured i could come up with a tasty variation using the same flavors. neither of us had a strong enough memory to compare the two variations, but nevertheless, we happily gobbled it all up. 

slow roasted carrots & harissa yogurt ~ serves 3 as side dish
1 pound young rainbow carrots (about 3-4 inches long) 
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper to taste 

1/3 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup 
1-2 teaspoons harissa paste 
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons orange juice
large pinch sea salt

golden raisins and thinly sliced mint for garnish

preheat oven to 350 degrees. trim greens from carrots and brush with a cloth to clean off any dirt. do not peel. drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and season heavily with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. place in a roasting pan or baking tray and roast for 30-45 minutes without rotating the carrots. after 30 minutes, check firmness of carrots. they should be fork tender and caramelized. 

in the mean time, whisk together the remaining ingredients in a small bowl, adjusting spiciness with more or less harissa. if you can't find harissa paste, you could use a dried harissa spice blend, starting with just a 1/4 teaspoon and adding more if you like spicy heat. 

to plate, spread yogurt sauce on a plate and pile high with roasted carrots served warm or at room temperature. drizzle with a bit of olive oil and top with golden raisins and thin shreds of fresh mint or parsley. 

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