Beet Couscous with Balsamic Glazed Carrots & Carrot Top Dressing

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I didn’t like carrots as a kid and now I love them, especially when they are roasted. These are sweet and still crunchy, and to not waste the carrot tops, I made a dressing with it. A very simple and easy vegetarian dish but still packed with flavor.

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This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the carrots:

7 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into about 6cm long sticks

3 tablespoons of melted butter

¼ cup of balsamic vinegar

¼ cup of sugar

½ teaspoon of salt

For the couscous:

1 cup of couscous

1 cup of vegetable stock

1 tablespoon of butter

1 medium roasted beet

For the carrot top dressing:

½ cup of chopped carrot top

2 tablespoons of chopped basil

1/3 cup of olive oil

20gr of grated Parmesan

2 tablespoons of white vinegar

1 tablespoon of honey

Juice of ½ a lime

Salt

Pepper

Extras:

¼ cup of toasted slivered almonds

 

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix the melted butter, balsamic vinegar, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Then add the carrots and toss to coat them. Spread them on a single layer in the prepared baking sheet. Pour the remaining glaze over the carrots.

Roast the carrots for 45 minutes, stirring half way through.

While the carrots are roasting, start making the dressing. Just blend all of the ingredients together until smooth. Taste for salt and pepper. Set it aside.

Once the carrots are done, start to make the couscous. Blend the vegetable stock with the roasted beet. Then pour it into a medium saucepan and add the butter over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, turn off the heat and add the couscous. Mix it well and cover it with a lid. Let it be for 5 minutes and then fluff it using a fork.

Serve the couscous with the glazed carrots, the carrot top dressing and slivered almonds.

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Roasted Carrot Soup with Carrot Top Pesto

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As a kid I never used to like carrots, I would always pick them out. But my mom would make a soup very similar to this one and that would be the only way she would get me to eat my carrots. She would always tell me they are good for my eyesight. My eyesight was pretty bad, so I don’t think carrots would have made a difference even If I loved them. I ended up getting Lasik when I got older and couldn’t be happier.

You can use the carrot top to make pesto, instead of throwing it away. This recipe for pesto yields more than you need for the soup.  So you can use the leftovers to top roasted vegetables or eat it with some crunchy bread.

Ingredients:

For the soup:

2 bunches of carrots with the tops

4 medium white onions

2 garlic cloves

Olive oil

8 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

200ml of cream

½ cup of grated Parmesan

Salt to taste

For the pesto:

2 bunches of carrot top

3/4 cup of fresh basil

120gr of toasted pine nuts

3/4 cup of grated parmesan

Zest of 2 lemons

About 1 cup of olive oil

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

 

To make the soup:

Remove the carrot tops, reserve them for the pesto. Peel the carrots.

Wrap the garlic cloves with the skin on with aluminum foil, pouring a bit of olive oil inside. Place the wrapped garlic, onions with the skin on and peeled carrots on an oven tray lined with aluminum foil.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top of the vegetables. Roast at 180C/350F for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Once the vegetables are roasted, peel the onions and the garlic cloves. Chop the carrots. Place them in a large pot. Add the stock and blend it. I like to pass the soup through a sieve to make it smoother, but you don’t have to.  Pour the soup back in the pot. Then add the cream, parmesan and mix it until it is all combined. Then add salt to taste. Warm up the soup on medium heat.

To make the pesto, just place all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until it is all combined.

Serve the soup with about one tablespoon of the carrot top pesto. If you want, drizzle a bit of cream on top for decoration.