Honey-roasted carrots with dates, dandelions & Moroccan dressing

Honey-roasted carrots with dates, dandelions & Moroccan dressing

New Feast
Alan Benson

This salad is a little bit Moroccan in inspiration, with its emphasis on the underlying sweetness of roasted carrots, fudgy nuggets of Medjool dates and a splash of orange flower water in the spicy dressing. We like to use a mixture of different coloured heirloom varieties of carrot, when we can find them, but otherwise, we’ll use smaller Dutch carrots that come with their greenery still intact.


Quantity Ingredient
60g hazelnuts
400g baby carrots, with tops attached
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons thyme leaves
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, finely sliced
55g dandelion leaves or watercress leaves, well washed and roughly sliced
6 medjool dates, pitted and diced
80g soft goat’s cheese, roughly crumbled

Moroccan dressing

Quantity Ingredient
1 garlic clove, crushed with ½ teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon turkish red chilli flakes
1 lemon, juiced
drizzle honey
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
splash orange flower water, (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Scatter the hazelnuts into a small baking tray and roast in the oven for 8–10 minutes, or until the skins darken and they start to smell toasty. Tip into a tea towel and rub away the skins. Chop the nuts roughly and set aside.
  3. Scrub (or peel) the carrots well, leaving the tops and wispy end bits attached. Make sure you winkle out any bits of soil that can lodge in and around the stalks. Arrange the carrots in a heavy-based roasting tin, drizzle with honey and pomegranate molasses, scatter on the thyme leaves and season well. Toss them with the oil and roast for 25–30 minutes, or until well browned and cooked through. A little crunchy caramelisation around the skinny ends is a good thing. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. While the carrots are roasting, make the dressing. Put all the ingredients in a clean jar with a lid and shake together.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the shallot, dandelion leaves, dates and hazelnuts. Add the warm carrots and enough dressing to coat everything lightly. Add the crumbled cheese and serve straight away, ideally while the carrots are still warm.
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