The perfect side dish is like an amazing supporting actress — bold enough to be memorable but knows enough restraint that it doesn't steal the spotlight. And, when entertaining, that means the dish is largely make ahead and versatile enough to be served with a roast or a salad. This roast carrot dish is just that — a puree with all the flavors — lemon, pistachio, coriander — we love best with carrots.
plus more for confit and carrots
(about 1 1/2 pounds carrots) with carrot tops
tough stems trimmed
tough stems trimmed
plus more for serving the carrots
plus more for garnish, if desired
To make the garlic confit, place the garlic in a sauté pan and cover with olive oil. Set over medium heat and heat until the oil starts to bubble. Reduce the heat to low and cook, checking every 30 minutes, until the garlic is soft, at least 1 hour. Let cool.
Confit can be made up to 2 days ahead. Store refrigerated in a airtight container and bring to room temperature before serving. You'll have oil leftover — go ahead and use it anywhere you want garlic-infused flavor.
Heat oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Cut carrot tops off carrots and wash in several changes of water. Place carrots on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast until knife tender, about 25 minutes. Set aside.
Carrots can be roasted up to 2 days ahead. Store refrigerated in a airtight container and bring to room temperature before serving.
To make the carrot top puree, bring a saucepan of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Discard the tough stems from the carrot tops then rought chop the leafy tops, add to the boiling water, and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl of ice water. When the carrot tops are cool, squeeze out the water until completely dry. Place in a blender and add the parsley, cilantro, 1/3 cup of the olive oil and all the lemon juice, 2 of the confit garlic cloves, pistachios, coriander, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add a drizzle of honey and blend until very smooth; taste and adjust the seasoning with more olive oil, honey, lemon, salt or pepper, as desired.
Puree can be roasted up to 1 day ahead. Store refrigerated in a airtight container and bring to room temperature before serving.
To serve, mash the remaining garlic confit and toss with the roasted carrots. Add a touch of lemon juice to balance the oil. Arrange carrots on a serving platter and top with puree and pistachios, if using.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp