The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

1:20 PM

What's on the side? Fall Spiced Roasted Carrots

Posted by Magic of Spice

Fall Spiced Roasted Carrots

Fall or Autumn is my favorite Season, but certainly not for the weather or even the
loom of the Holidays. After all I am a southern California girl, so no changing of the
 leaves from greens to golds and browns. The evergreens are still green and
the palms still palms.

Or even that I am myself a fall none of these.
It is the scents, the glorious aromas that fill our days and nights. The warming
spices and fresh pines, the smells of freshly baked breads and sugar cookies.
Cups of spiced warming teas and the crackling smokey wood of the fire place.
These are the very things that say fall to me.

So today we are going to play with some of the warming aromatic spices
that are associated with fall. Perhaps we will even get a bit bold with
our fall spice mix by including cardamom, black cardamon to be exact.

A cousin of the more widely know and popular green cardamom, and also
hailing from the ginger family, this bold rustic beauty will be adding an
earthy/smokey touch to our dish. The smokiness is due to the
pods being dried over an open flame, while the spice retains
similar notes of  eucalyptus and mint like it's green relative
they are more of an undertone beneath the smokey forefront.

Working with whole spices
Our spice mix will yield about 1 tablespoon so adjust the
amounts as desired or when increasing the number of servings.
When interchanging whole, ground/crushed and powdered
spices here is a general rule of thumb to follow.
1 tablespoon whole spice = 1/2 spoon ground/crushed
and 1/3 teaspoon powdered or finely ground.
For convenience I used ground measurements along
with approximated whole spice amounts to be used.

On another note, I did not add any sugar to the spice mix
as I find the natural sweetness of the carrots to be sufficient.
You can add a bit of brown sugar or raw sugar if desired,
or add sugar to create a wonderful and fragrant rub for
pork or salmon dishes :)

Aside from our spices we are using a mixture of two oils, one being
an organic extra virgin olive and the other an Organic unfiltered and unrefined
 pumpkin seed oil. Since unrefined pumpkin seed oil has a very low smoking
point at only 225°F the blend will add a bit more stability when roasting.
Typically this oil is serves well as a finishing oil or for light sautéing.

This beautiful and exotic pumpkin seed oil has a rich full bodied nutty
flavor. A specialty pumpkin know as the  "Styrian oil pumpkin" or
Cucurbita pepo species pumpkin, is cultivated for it's unique seeds.
The seeds are entirely edible and hull-less and more easily
processed for the oil.

Another unique factor of pumpkin oil is it's color produced by the
high chlorophyll content giving it a dark rich green. However
there is a bit of a twist with this oils color or hue, being that
the hue adjusts visually by the thickness it is being  viewed at.
This phenomenon is called dichromatism, if being viewed in
a thick layer the oil will appear deep red nearly black, but
viewed in a thin layer a deep rich green. I took a set of
photos to give you a bit of a visual below.

What you will need:
2 bunches fresh young carrots
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon pumpkin seed oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
(1 large stick)
1/2 teaspoon black cardamom seeds, ground
(seeds from 2 pods)
1/2 teaspoon pepper, ground
(15-20 peppercorns)
1/4th teaspoon nutmeg, ground
(1/4th whole nutmeg seed)
1/4th teaspoon allspice, ground
(5 to 6 berries)
1/4th teaspoon cloves, ground
(4-5 cloves)
1/4th teaspoon Himalayan pink salt, grated

Let's get cooking:
Start by grating your nutmeg and salt to the desired amounts then grind
 the remaining spices with a spice grinder or coffee grinder designated for
this purpose, to a semi course grind. Add the grated nutmeg and salt to
 the grinder with the other spices and pulse a few times to incorporate.
Note: It is easiest to get a more consistent grind if you break up the
 cinnamon stick before grinding.

Arrange carrots in a single row on a baking sheet.Next blend your two
 oils together and drizzle or brush the oil on carrots to coat, sprinkle
 evenly with spice mix. Roast in a pre-heated oven at 400°F loosely
covered in foil for about 10 minutes, remove the foil and turn carrots
placing them back in the oven for an additional 10 - 15 minutes
or until tender. Note: I do not peel my carrots as they are organic
young carrots but you can peel them if desired or if using non-
organic or older carrots.

Serves 4

Alisha ~ Magic of Spice

Remember to submit here YBR by deadline is November 29th 2011 

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