Carrots tossed in aromatic spices, then roasted and served on a bed of creamy labneh. This Middle Eastern inspired side dish is full of flavour and texture and is absolutely delicious. The sweet and creamy combination makes the perfect vegetarian side dish.
WHAT IS ZA'ATAR?
Za'atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend. Typically, za'atar is a blend of dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, sumac, toasted sesame seeds, and salt, but as with any spice blend that is ancient, there are many variations—and plenty of opinions about which is the right proportion for each ingredient. (There is also a herb - somewhat similar to Thyme - called Zaatar).
250-300g of Labneh
500g carrots, peeled and sliced into two-inch diagonal pieces
2 tbsp za'atar spice blend
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped
1 tsp nigella seeds
Optional: Flaky finishing salt, to top and some fresh parsley
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F / 220 C.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and transfer the carrots to the sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with za'atar, salt, pepper, and cumin, then toss again by hand until evenly coated.
Roast for 30-35 minutes or until carrots are starting to lightly caramelize around the edges, you want them to be somewhat tender, but not soft.
Spread labneh evenly across a large plate or platter. Top with carrots and any extra oil from the baking tray. Sprinkle with pistachios and nigella seeds. Finish with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt and fresh parsley.