Friday, October 22, 2010

Carrots with Cumin and Mustard Seeds

I have this pet suspicion that anyone who says they don't really like vegetables must be thinking of the boiled, steamed, or canned variety.

As soon as you toss a carrot or bean or zucchini in some olive oil and put it over high enough heat to start browning, transubstantiatory and addictive things start to happen. We've definitely tucked away a full pan of oven-roasted root vegetables in a single evening between the two of us, and a single vegetable cooked on the stovetop really doesn't stand a chance of making it to the leftover phase. So if you feel a certain dispassionate aloofness toward the carrot, try cooking this. It may be that underneath your calm and cool exterior, you love them, deeply and madly.

Carrots (preferably fresh, carroty ones from a farmer's market or CSA box), cut into sticks
Olive oil
A spoonful of black mustard seeds
A small spoonful of cumin seeds

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds, stir once, and add the carrots. Use tongs to toss the carrots with the seeds until they are evenly coated, then add a tbsp or so of water, cover the pan, and turn the heat to medium.

Continue cooking, adding a spoonful of water from time to time if the pan gets too dry and turning the carrots occasionally, until they're just tender and starting to caramelize a nice goldeny brown color on the bottom (you'll want to adjust the heat up if they don't seem to be browning, and down if they start to brown too quickly). Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and serve.

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