St. Tola Carrots
A winning combo. Harissa roasted carrots, spicy sweet caramelised pecans, St.Tola goat’s cheese and fresh spring onions.
The cheese plays so nicely with every other element. When it mingles with the sweet sweet carrots, and spicy, crunchy nuts there’s a bit of a cheesecake thing happening. The spring onions react to it in a sour cream and onion way.
It may seem unnecessary to steam the carrots and then roast them but I highly recommend you do. Steaming brings out the natural sweetness.
It’s pretty decadent for a salad. I recommend having it with some mixed leaves, or something fresh and raw to lighten it up.
And you don’t need to use St. Tola goats cheese. It is one of Ireland’s finer cheese offerings and one of my favourites, but any soft cheese you like will do.
4 medium carrots
2 tbsp harissa paste, preferably rose harissa
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dark brown sugar
50g soft dark brown sugar
1 tbsp water
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 spring onions, finely sliced
Carrots. Peel them, slice in two lengthways, then in half again widthways. Slice each quarter on the diagonal. Place in a steamer basket and steam until you can nearly pierce through with a knife, about 10 – 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the harissa, olive oil and sugar. Cover the carrots, place in a baking dish and roast for 10-15 minutes, until the dressing has adhered and dried. Resist the urge to season them, depending on how salty your goats cheese is you may not need to.
Pecans. In a small frying pan toast the pecans for a few minutes. Set aside. Melt the brown sugar in the water with the cinnamon and chili. Once the sugar granules have dissolved add the pecans and let bubble for a few minutes, until all the nuts have been coated. Remove from the pan and let cool on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Assemble by layering carrots, cheese, pecans and spring onions.