Cumin Roasted Carrots with Herb Rice and Feta
Another full moon has arrived--- illuminating the night sky and making a regular appearance in my bedroom window. Just last night, the sounds of coyotes were echoing in the valley, so wild and pure. This full moon feels more intense than usual since its also my birthday! Full moons have a way of 'bringing things to the surface' and this one is no exception. Lying in bed, under the moon's silver light, I've been reflecting on this past year and all the changes this cycle around the sun has brought. Big changes! Like, driving my car across the country and moving to Northern California.
En route to my new home several months ago, I was fortunate enough to spend a few days in New Orleans with some dear friends. This recipe is inspired from a simple lunch we prepared and has been a regular addition in my kitchen for a while now. The 'herb rice' as its been dubbed, is a great base for other roasted veggies or as an accompaniment to a main dish. I love the sweet smokiness of the cumin with the carrots and it really comes together with a good sprinkle of fresh herbs from our garden.
A kitchen ritual we have found to be really helpful is soaking our rice before cooking. Rice, like other grains, is a seed and requires certain conditions before sprouting. Soaking allows enzyme inhibitors, like phytic acid, to be neutralized which makes nutrients easier for our bodies to absorb. Its a simple practice and helps us to get into a rhythm with our meals for the week.
In the evening, before bed, add 1 cup of rice to a bowl, cover with water and add 1-2 TBS of lemon juice, whey, or vinegar. Let it sit on the counter over night covered with a plate or kitchen towel then strain and rinse the rice in the morning. A trick I learned when cooking the rice is to add 2 cups of water to the rinsed rice, bring to a boil for a few minutes, then turn off the heat keeping the cover on. In about 15 minutes you will have delicious perfectly cooked rice!
5 large carrots, cut on a diagonal or in coins
3 tsp sesame oil or ghee
1 tsp ground cumin seed
salt to taste
3 cups rice, we like jasmine and basmati, soaked + cooked
2 TBS ghee
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 big handful of fresh chopped herbs--- cilantro, mint, parsley or wild spicy greens!
slivered almonds, toasted
salt to taste
sprinkle of feta cheese
good squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. While the oven is getting hot, toss your sliced carrots with cumin, sesame oil or ghee and sprinkle of salt. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until carrots are soft and the edges start to brown. While the carrots are roasting, get your cast iron on medium-low heat and add in your ghee and garlic. Once garlic is aromatic, but not browned, add in the rice so its well coated. Next, add in a handful of chopped herbs, mix into the rice and turn off the heat. When your carrots have finished roasting and have cooled a bit, serve on top of the rice with a small handful of slivered almonds, feta and a squeeze of lemon. Add more fresh herbs if you'd like, too!