© 2014 Can Caramelo

Roasted Carrots

…with Dupuy lentils, baked potatoes and Tahini drizzle

I’m just back from dancing Lindy Hop at Plaza del Sol, here in Barcelona. It’s been months since the last time I danced, when before I hardly ever spent a Sunday without dancing somewhere outside. Today it was so sunny and warm, after two songs I had to take my pullover and scarf off, after three songs I was laughing, sweating and happy I had finally made it. I met people I hadn’t seen in a long while and enjoyed feeling the sun warming my skin. It’s impressive how music moves us in every sense of the word. We tap along with it, we sing it, we dance it, but even if we don’t move at all, music activates our motor system.

Roasted Carrots from top
Enjoying music is an important social activity and can help to synchronize the movements of people working together. Our brain also works based on rhythm. When we register an electroencephalogram, we observe fluctuating rhythmic patterns that correspond to discharge patterns of neuronal populations and reflect states of higher and lower excitability. By means of entrainment to different rhythms, brain areas communicate and information is integrated. Neuronal oscillations have been shown to have a causal role in perception, cognition and action. Regarding music, neurons synchronize their firing patterns with the rhythm of the music at different time scales (like for example with the rate of the beat on one hand and the metrical accentuation on the other hand). In restaurants, music is sometimes used strategically: faster rhythms to make people eat faster and thus have a higher turnover rate when many customers are expected or slower rhythms to make people stay longer and make the place look fuller when few customers are expected.

When I was listening to the music, synchronizing my movements with my respective dancing partner as if our body was an instrument for interpreting the music, I wondered how I could be without dancing swing for so long. When I came home afterwards, hungry, I had leftovers from yesterday, and guess what, that’s today’s recipe. It’s the third time I made these roasted carrots in 2 weeks. After the first time, it was clear that this would have to be a recipe on the blog. Simple, quick, no special ingredients or kitchen tools required, healthy, beautiful and addictive. While eating the carrots we were marveling about how a simple carrot could be so flavorful when roasted in the oven instead of boiled. All 3 times we were quarelling about the leftovers, trying to get the bigger portion for lunch the next day. I was leaving the tray in the oven attempting to conceal there was more and hoping Sebastian would forget. He didn’t. Yesterday he had the carrots for lunch and dinner, so I insisted the leftovers were for me, and luckily, they were still there when I arrived home.

Roasted carrots
Serves 4.

• 1 1/2 bunches of organic carrots (around 12-16)
• 4 potatoes
• 4 tbsp olive oil
• 1 cup dupuy lentils
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 garlic clove
• 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro
• 1/2 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley
• 1/2 cup Tahini
• sea salt

Preheat the oven to 250ºC (480ºF). Cut the green off the carrots, leaving a little bit. Wash and place on one half of a baking tray. Wash the potatoes and cut them in small dices. Put them on the other half of the baking tray. Sprinkle the carrots and potatoes with salt and 3 tbsp olive oil. Put the tray high up in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then turn the tray around and bake for 15 more minutes, or until the carrots are and potatoes are browned. Meanwhile, cover the lentils with water, add the bay leaves and boil for 20 minutes. Add salt (if added at the beginning, it will take the lentils longer to soften) and cook for 5 more minutes (until the lentils are soft). For the sauce, blend the tahini with 1 tbsp olive oil, the lemon juice and garlic and a little bit of water until achieving the desired texture or mince the garlic and just stir everything together. Coarsely chop the cilantro and parsley. Arrange the carrots on a plate, cover with potatoes, lentils, the fresh herbs and the tahini sauce and serve straight away.

eaten carrots

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