Roasted Carrots With Black Lentils and Green Harissa 6.000

Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian Oct 2, 2013

This is a knife-and-fork dish, good for special occasions as well as weeknight dining, with earthy lentils, sweet and creamy carrots and bright, tangy harissa. The sauce is something of a cross between salsa verde and the classic Tunisian hot sauce, which is traditionally red.

Make Ahead: The lentils and carrots can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. The harissa can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings

  • For the lentils
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 cups no-salt-added vegetable broth, preferably homemade (see related recipe)
  • 2 cups dried black lentils, picked through and rinsed
  • For the carrots
  • 2 pounds jumbo carrots, scrubbed well
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • For the harissa
  • 2 cups loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

For the lentils: Heat the oil in a medium pot over high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until they are lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the broth and lentils; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until the lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

For the carrots: Cut the carrots in half lengthwise. Toss them on a rimmed baking sheet with the oil, cumin, paprika, allspice, brown sugar and ginger. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until they just start to become tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

For the harissa: Combine the cilantro, onion, garlic, jalapeños, oil, vinegar, coriander, cumin and granulated sugar in a blender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Puree until smooth.

To serve, divide the lentils among individual plates, pooling them at the center. Top with the carrots, then drizzle the harissa on top or around the edges of the plate.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Vedge: 100 Plates Large and Small That Redefine Vegetable Cooking," by Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby (The Experiment, 2013).

Tested by Rich Landau, Kate Jacoby and Joe Yonan.

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