Grilled Carrots with Feta Yogurt Sauce

Grilled Carrots with Feta Yogurt Sauce

Last year, its was the front yard; this year, it’s the back.

Our backyard. AKA Bind Weed Jungle. The Sloping Hill. The place I wish we spent time but we don’t really—unless we’re using the grill. This year, we’re setting out to change that, by dealing with that slope and the weeds covering it (seriously, they were hip-high last year). We’re adding a large retaining wall, planting native flowers, and maybe—if somehow we gain three extra weeks to our summer—adding space to actually “hang out.” Until that’s done though, the yard is still what it has been since we moved in: the grill spot.

But who said grilling has to be burgers, hotdogs, and chicken? I’ve been all about charred veggies lately, (carrots, but also cauliflower, and doesn’t this salad from Heart Beet Kitchen look killer?). Combining those hot grilled veggies with other textures and flavors to complete the picture is where it’s at (sauce, fresh herbs, crunchy nuts, etc). Try something new! Grill carrots. I dare you!

Grilled Carrots with Feta Yogurt Sauce
Grilled Carrots with Feta Yogurt Sauce

Grilled Carrots with Feta Yogurt Sauce

Published July 10, 2019 by
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Serves: 2   |    Active Time: 30 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 8-10 carrots, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
  • 2 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • Sprinkle of ground sumac
  • Optional: sprinkle of red chili flakes or Aleppo pepper flakes 

  • Directions:

    1. Light grill and set to medium flame. Close lid to allow grill to heat.
    2. Meanwhile, prep carrots: if carrots are thick, cut in half the long way. They should be 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Peel, and place carrots in bowl, and drizzle with oil and honey.
    3. Mince garlic, and remove thyme leaves from stems. Add garlic, thyme leaves, and a sprinkle of black pepper to carrots and toss to combine. Place carrots in a grill basket or directly on the grill (just be careful to keep them from falling through the cracks!), and close grill lid. Grill for a total of 20 minutes, turning after 10 minutes. Carrots are done when they are softened through and are charred in spots. (Note: if carrots are charring too quickly, your grill may be too hot; turn down the flame).
    4. Meanwhile, make the sauce: combine feta, yogurt, lemon juice, chives, and oregano in a small bowl and stir.
    5. Assemble: Spread feta sauce in a generous layer on a plate. Arrange carrots over top. Sprinkle with almonds, raisins, parsley, sumac, and chili flakes. Serve warm.

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    Roasted Corn Salad with Fresh Herbs

    Roasted Corn Salad with Fresh Herbs

    Real summer is still a ways off, but we’ve been eating like it’s already here. An over-sized watermelon eaten in wedges, grilling every evening for dinner, and lots of fresh greens and herbs. This roasted corn salad includes a lot of quintessential summer ingredients. I wanted to publish it early in the season so you could take advantage of the first corn at the market. Grilling the corn and red bell pepper give a great toasted/caramelized flavor, while using a mix of herbs—basil, cilantro and parsley—add freshness to every bite. I used queso fresco, but if you’re unable to find that at your local grocery store, try feta or goat cheese crumbles.

    Roasted Corn Salad with Fresh Herbs
    Roasted Corn Salad with Fresh Herbs

    Roasted Corn Salad with Fresh Herbs

    Published June 4, 2019 by
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    Serves: 4-5   |    Active Time: 30 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 4 corn cobs
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco, crumbled
  • 1/4 heaping cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 heaping cup parsley leaves
  • 1/4 heaping cup basil leaves
  • 1/4 of a red onion, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 
  • Salt to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
    2. Remove husks and silk from corn. Cut bell pepper in half and remove stem and seeds.
    3. Place corn and pepper on grill. Cook for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally, until outside is brown in spots. Remove from heat.
    4. Allow pepper and corn to cool enough to handle (you can speed up the cooling process by placing them in a bowl with cool water).
    5. Dice roasted pepper, and place in serving bowl. Cut corn kernels from cobs, and place in bowl.
    6. Add queso fresco, herbs, red onion, olive oil, and vinegar to bowl, and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper to taste.
    7. Serve.

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    Instant Pot Saffron Rice with Currants and Pine Nuts

    Instant Pot Saffron Rice with Currants and Pine Nuts

    “Yellow rice,” as I called it then, was my dinner request. Just yellow rice!

    The stand-in name was just about right, at least in this instance, because the rice I so craved was a mix my mom would make from a little foil packet purchased at the store. I’m not sure what exactly was in that mix, though I have a hunch: yellow coloring, natural flavors, and salt. It felt like I could eat that rice for days without getting tired of it.

    This version of yellow rice is not that yellow rice. It’s made with Saffron—real saffron— and studded with pine nuts and currants. It’s beautiful, and tastes beautiful too. I could eat it for days without getting tired of it. At first bite, I was immediately transported back to Mom’s yellow rice. It’s a bowl of nostalgia, but also global flavors. It’s vibrant, and homey. And, it’s made in your Instant Pot! (affiliate link)

    (It seems like as a kid, I often identified foods by their color: get the recipe for grown-up Pink Sauce here).

    Instant Pot Saffron Rice with Currants and Pine Nuts
    Instant Pot Saffron Rice with Currants and Pine Nuts

    For a video of this recipe, click here!

    Instant Pot Saffron Rice with Currants and Pine Nuts

    Published May 21, 2019 by
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    Serves: 6   |    Active Time: 30 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 2 cups white rice (such as basmati)
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced small
  • 4 pinches saffron
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup minced parsley, plus more for garnish

  • Directions:

    1. Turn Instant Pot to sauté setting and heat 1 tablespoon of butter. Add diced onion, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until translucent.
    2. In a mortar and pestle, grind the saffron so that it is almost a powder—a few larger pieces is OK.
    3. Add rice, water, remaining 4 tablespoons of butter, saffron, and salt to pot. Stir.
    4. Secure lid on Instant Pot, and set to “Rice” setting, with the vent in the closed position. Timer should set to 12 minutes.
    5. When the timer goes off, release the pressure. Add currants, pine nuts, and parsley to the pot. Use a fork or spatula stir everything together, fluffing the rice as you go.
    6. Serve hot, sprinkled with additional parsley for garnish.

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