Roasted Carrot Salad

I was visiting at the home of my neighbor Nancy Paris the day of the Academy Awards –I was there for the daily puppy play party that takes place on the Paris patio. Nancy was making a very beautiful platter of carrots and blood oranges for an Oscar party she was going to attend. The platter looked delicious.

The recipe is Ludo Lefebvre’s and was brought to us by NYT’s Sam Sifton. We had dinner guests on Saturday, the Karanik-Toys (Theresa and Alan) and the Cranes (Lauri and Dennis) and I could not wait to make it for them. It is a gem of a recipe – complicated at first glance – but not really. It is beautiful and delicious. Thanks Nancy for your inspiration!!

Ludo Lefebvre’s Roasted-Carrot Salad

(-Sam Sifton, NYT) preheat oven to 400°

* The day before make the crème fraiche – it’s super easy and so good. Recipe is at the bottom of this post.


For the Carrots

½ tsp ground cumin

1 ½ pounds small carrots, approximately 5 inches in length, scrubbed clean and tops trimmed

1 bay leaf (fresh, scored) 1 head garlic, cut in half 5 to 7 sprigs fresh thyme

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil Good salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the Blood-Orange Vinaigrette

2 blood oranges, juiced

1 Tbsp white vinegar or champagne vinegar

1 Tbsp granulated sugar

½ tsp kosher salt

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the cumin crème fraiche

1 cup crème fraiche (see directions at the bottom of this recipe – super easy)

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 2 tsp ground cumin Pinch kosher salt

For the salad

½ small red onion thinly sliced

1 Tbsp roughly chopped roasted almonds

2 blood oranges cut into supremes

1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley, tarragon, chervil, chives Fleur de sel


Preheat the oven to 400. Toast the cumin for both the carrots and the crème fraiche in a small pan over medium heat until it becomes aromatic. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place carrots, bay leaf, split head of garlic, thyme and olive oil into a bowl, and mix them together. Sprinkle ½ tsp toasted cumin over the carrots, and mix again.

Tip the carrot mixture onto a sheet pan and spread evenly into one layer, then season with salt and pepper and place in pre-heated oven. Roast until the carrots are soft and beginning to carmelize maybe 25 minutes.

Remove carrots from oven, discard aromatics and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, while the carrots are roasting, make the vinaigrette. Combine the blood-orange juice, vinegar, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl, and whisk to incorporate. Slowly add the olive oil while continuing to whisk until the dressing is emulsified. Add the carrots to the bowl and toss to combine.

Make the cumin crème fraiche. Combine the crème fraiche, lemon juice and remaining toasted cumin in a mixing bow and stir to combine. Thin the mixture slightly with a few Tablespoons of water. Add a small pinch of salt.

Assemble the salad on a large serving plate. Put the crème fraiche in the center of the plate and using the back of a spoon spread it evenly across the bottom. Arrange the carrots on top of the crème fraiche. Sprinkle the onion and the nuts on top of the carrots, then add the supremes of blood orange. Sprinkle the herbs across the top of the salad, and finish with a pinch or two of fleur de sel. Make a mess when serving so that everyone gets plenty of crème fraiche along with the vegetables.

* To make crème fraiche: Combine 1 cup heavy cream and 2 Tbsp buttermilk in a glass container. Cover and let stand at room temperature (about 70°) from 8 to 24 hours or until very thick. Stir well before covering and refrigerate up to 10-days.

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