Pimp Your Carrots

Honey and cumin roasted carrots with toasted couscous and a drizzle of harissa yoghurt. Carrot love! 

I’m an equal opportunities eater. By that, I mean that I like to treat all food as equally delicious morsels to chomp on.

As much as I try not to discriminate, I do, however, have my favourites.

And, I’m afraid to say, there are those vegetables which often find themselves at the back of my store-cupboard, neglected and rather sad.

Carrots are a vegetable which has fallen out of my favour in the past, thanks to a hard-to-shake memory of over-boiled anaemic carrots that I was sloppily served up at boarding school.

I’ve found ways to chomp on these carotene-mines that doesn’t make my Inner Vegetable Bigot go bleurgh.

The obvious way is to use carrots as an implement in which to eat to hummus. That works well.

But you can’t be dipping carrots into hummus all the time. Besides, they’re really rather versatile vegetables once you get to know them.

I recently put together this quick and very satisfying carrot salad, which made the orange spears an absolute treat to eat.

I was inspired by this Jamie Oliver recipe and used a few tips I’ve picked up on Home Organic’s blog over the last few months.

Don’t be put off by this rather verbose list of ingredients, this is a piece of cake to put together.

What you need for a Roasted Carrot Couscous Salad for 2

For the carrots

About 500g of the best carrots you can find, peeled and chopped into long thin chunks

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 teaspoon of ground black pepper

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

1 teaspoon of chilli flakes

1 tablespoon of runny honey

For the couscous

250g of couscous 

400g of hot vegetable stock (you can use chicken stock if you like)

A handful of dried apricots, finely chopped

2 tablespoons of freshly chopped mint

2 tablespoons of almond flakes

For the couscous dressing

3 tablespoon of olive oil

2 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses (available in Asian Food Company on Mary’s Street – a very interesting ingredient to have in your cupboard!)

1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar

For the harissa yoghurt

2 tablespoons of natural yoghurt

1 teaspoon of harissa paste (I got mine in Asian Food Company but you can find this North African spice paste in most large supermarkets)

Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas mark 7. Put the carrot chunks into a roasting dish. Add the olive oil, black pepper, cumin, chilli flakes and runny honey and mix everything well.

Place into the oven and cook for about 30 minutes, until the carrots are cooked through but still a bit firm.

Meanwhile, prepare your couscous. I like Home Organic’s method of toasting the couscous and ‘cooking’ it in a hot pan.

Heat a dry pan over a medium to high heat and add the dry couscous. Toast for about 5 minutes, shaking often, until the couscous turns a golden colour.

Now add the hot stock to the pan and stir immediately and continuously until the stock is absorbed. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, pomegranate molasses and red wine vinegar until well blended. Add half of this dressing to the couscous and mix well. Give it a taste. The pomegranate molasses is quite strong stuff so make sure you like it before adding the other half of the dressing!

Now add the dried apricots and chopped mint to the couscous.

In another small bowl, mix the yoghurt and harissa together so that you have a lovely marbled sauce.

Finally, toast the flaked almonds on a dry pan for about 5 minutes until golden brown. Set aside.

Once the carrots are ready, you can start getting everything together. Divide the couscous between two large bowls and top with equal amounts of roasted carrots. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds and finally add a dollop of the harissa yoghurt.

A deliciously quick, healthy and satisfying supper for two, the star of which are carrots.


Check this tune out for a bit of summer time wonderment.

Midnight City – M83 (via The Hype Machine)

Categories: Dinner


  1. I did almost the same thing, but just served up without the yogurt or cous cous, as a side dish with a roast brisket. Since we’ve had the veg box delivered, it’s been tough finding ways to make carrots interesting. Not carrots themselves — but that quantity of them! This looks amazing. I will definitely try making this.

    Incidentally, I’m off to make your Marmite and cheese scones. Will report results.

    • ooh pomegranate molasses – i’ve never heard of that before – but I love pomegranate and molasses – I will prob like it. What else have you used it for? Nice recipe

  2. Hey Ben! Definitely know what you mean about having too many carrots, we have the same problem here with our delivery. They are yummy but sometimes they’re uninspiring. I wanted to use all of our carrots last night so figured this would be a good way to eat the lot!

    Let me know you get on with the Marmite scones – ours were pretty delish, if I do say so myself!

  3. Hi Lucy! The pomegranate mollasses is mad stuff. It’s like a runny pomegranate tar, mad stuff altogether. I’ve really only used it for this dressing so far. It’s quite strong and has a tangy taste to it. Would you have any other ideas of what to do with it? I guess you could use it in baking maybe…hmmm!

  4. Lucy – here’s an interesting looking Pomegranate and Tangerine Cupcake recipe. Fruity! http://tinyurl.com/ylqk9k8

  5. Aoife, this looks delicious! I’m in a terrible rut with couscous. I love it, but I just didn’t know how to jazz it up. I also have a jar of harissa languishing in the back of the cupboard, so this recipe should get me moving! x

  6. Hi Arlene – fabulous stuff! Well definitely give the toasting method a go. Also, follow the link to the Home Organic’s blog, there are loads of amazing couscous recipes and inspiring dressings up there. Have fun!