November 7, 2016

Tara O’Brady’s Roasted Carrots With Harissa Aïoli And Dukkah

Recipe: Tara O'Brady

Try this recipe from the Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day cookbook by Tara O’Brady. Plus, check out Tara’s recipes for Vietnamese-Inspired Sausage RollsMake-Ahead Apple Pie and Roasted Squash Soup.

“The harissa-twirled aïoli that accompanies the carrots has heat and complexity, but with a blend of milder oils, it’s not a bodacious personality on the plate. In fact, it plays quite nicely with the mellow sweetness of honey-roasted carrots, especially when those carrots are finished with the mix of nuts and earthy spices that make up the Egyptian spice blend called dukkah. Mayonnaise, which aïoli basically is, can be prepared in a blender or food processor; however, with those methods, the resulting texture is denser than when done by hand. This recipe uses a whisk, but if you’d like the challenge, feel free to use a mortar and pestle. Aïoli is best the day it’s made, and I like to keep it out of the refrigerator, so it is advisable to make the mayonnaise while the carrots roast and not much earlier. A good-quality store-bought mayonnaise can always be used as the base for the aïoli, especially if there is a concern over using raw yolks. Simply stir the garlic, lemon juice, and harissa into ¾ cup (180 ml) of the prepared stuff.”


  • 3 tablespoons whole hazelnuts, skin on
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, white or black, or a mix
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Fine-grain sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 12 skinny carrots, trimmed of their tops and scrubbed clean
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) Harissa Aïoli (ingredients below)


Harissa Aïoli

Makes about ¾ cup (180 ml)

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, halved, and any green germ removed
  • Fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 fresh egg yolk
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) mild extra-virgin olive oil or neutral-tasting oil
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) peppery extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ lemon
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons harissa


Yield: Serves 4

  1. Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C) with a rack in the upper third of the oven.
  2. To make the dukkah, in a small skillet over medium heat, toast the hazelnuts until lightly golden and aromatic, shaking the pan often, about 2 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a small bowl and set aside. Repeat the process with the sesame seeds, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds, toasting each separately, then adding to the bowl with the hazelnuts. Let cool completely.
  3. In a mortar and pestle or in a small food processor, process the spices and nuts into an unevenly textured mix. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  4. On a sheet pan, toss the carrots with a light coating of the olive oil and honey, then season with salt and pepper. Roast the carrots, turning once, until browned and tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Arrange the carrots on a serving platter and sprinkle with as much dukkah as you’d like. Pass the aïoli at the table.Note: The dukkah can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days.

Harissa Aïoli

  1. Twist a damp kitchen towel into a rope and shape it into a ring on a work surface. Place a stainless steel bowl into the center, so the towel can anchor the bowl as you whisk. In the bowl, sprinkle the garlic with a pinch of salt, then crush the two into a paste with a pestle or fork. Remove half the garlic, reserving it for later.
  2. Stir the egg yolk into the remaining garlic, then add a few drops of the mild olive oil, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk, slowly dripping in oil, until the mayonnaise begins to thicken. At this stage, you can start to incorporate the oil in a thin, steady stream, still whisking all the while. You may need to stop adding the oil every so often, then whisk vigorously to thicken the emulsion, then start again with the oil. Once the mild olive oil is fully blended in, move on to the more rugged one and whisk in. Stir in the lemon juice, and thin the mayonnaise with water, if necessary, to achieve your desired consistency. Check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper and the reserved garlic as needed. Then fold in the harissa paste. Cover and leave at cool room temperature for 30 minutes before using, or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Excerpted from Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day by Tara O’Brady. Copyright © 2015 Tara O’Brady. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.