Can we talk about how beautiful those rainbow carrots are?! You are looking good today, carrots. This stunning roasted carrot dish features warm whole grains, protein-rich chickpeas, spiced pepitas and a light herbed crème fraîche sauce.
Don’t be intimidated by its gourmet looks—this recipe is simple to make once you get going. It has several different components, but none are complicated, and they come together beautifully.
This recipe is an absolutely lovely vegetarian option for your holiday table. Call it a main dish for the vegetarians and a side dish for everyone else. It’s also a well-balanced weeknight or special occasion dinner.
If this recipe looks familiar, it’s because it’s one of my all-time favorites. It even made it into my cookbook with a tahini sauce variation. Today, I’m sharing it again with updated photos and a video so you can watch how it all comes together.
Crème Fraîche Notes
Crème fraîche is basically a French version of sour cream. It’s a thick, cultured cream that offers lovely, rich flavor and a light tang.
You can use crème fraîche in recipes that call for sour cream or heavy cream, whether savory or sweet. It’s a great addition to soups because, unlike sour cream, it won’t curdle at high temperatures.
Crème fraîche is available at well-stocked grocery stores near the cheese. Vermont Creamery is the most common brand available. If you can’t find it, try my tahini option in the recipe notes, or you could likely substitute labneh, sour cream or even Greek yogurt.
Watch How to Make Roasted Carrots with Farro, Chickpeas & Herbed Creme Fraiche
This is a well-rounded main dish, checking off the boxes for vegetables, whole grains, and plant-based protein. If you’re looking for a side dish, add a fresh green salad, like my Favorite Green Salad with Apples, Cranberries and Pepitas or Seasonal Spinach Salad with apple or pear.
Meal prep tip: Farro freezes well for later. You could easily double the amount of farro to save extra for later. Simply add enough water to cover the farro by several inches, and reserve half of the cooked farro for later. Let the extra farro cool to room temperature, then transfer it to a freezer bag before freezing. It’s easy to tear off a portion later and microwave to defrost. I like to add warm farro to my salads, or use it as a base for an improvised bowl.
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Roasted Carrots with Farro, Chickpeas & Herbed Crème Fraîche
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 4 to 8 servings 1x
- Category: Entree
- Method: Various
- Cuisine: N/A
- Diet: Vegetarian
This roasted carrot recipe looks gourmet, but it’s surprisingly easy to make! It would be a lovely dish on your holiday table or a great weeknight dinner on its own. Recipe yields 4 main dish servings to 8 side servings, depending on portions.
Farro and chickpeas
- 1 cup dried farro, rinsed
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 pound slender heirloom carrots, scrubbed clean and patted dry (I didn’t peel mine)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
- ½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch of cumin
- Pinch of chili powder
- Pinch of salt
Herbed crème fraîche
- ⅓ cup crème fraîche
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons water
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 more tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- To cook the farro: In a medium saucepan, combine the rinsed farro with at least three cups water (enough water to cover the farro by a couple of inches). Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the farro is tender to the bite but still pleasantly chewy (pearled farro will take around 15 minutes; unprocessed farro will take 25 to 40 minutes). Drain off the excess water and return the farro to the pot. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil, the lemon juice, garlic and ½ teaspoon salt. Mix well, then add the chickpeas and stir to combine. Set aside, covered, until you’re ready to assemble.
- To roast the carrots: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and add the carrots. Drizzle them with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with cumin, salt and pepper. Use your fingers to make sure the carrots are lightly and evenly coated in oil and spices. Roast for 20 to 35 minutes, until the carrots are easily pierced by a fork near the top of their stems. Roasting time will depend entirely on the size of your carrots. I removed some of the more slender carrots at 20 minutes and checked them at 5 minute intervals thereafter, removing the carrots as they were done.
- To toast the pepitas: In a small skillet over medium heat, warm ½ teaspoon olive oil until shimmering. Add the pepitas and generous pinches of cumin, chili powder and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the pepitas are turning golden on the edges and starting to make little popping noises. Remove from heat to cool.
- To make the herbed crème fraîche, combine the crème fraîche, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, water, and a few dashes of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.
- To assemble the dish, pour the farro and chickpea mixture onto a large serving platter. Arrange the carrots in a single layer over the mixture. Drizzle herbed crème fraîche generously over the carrots, then sprinkle them with pepitas and one tablespoon chopped fresh parsley. Serve immediately or let the dish cool to room temperature (it’s good either way!).
Make it gluten free: Substitute brown rice and/or wild rice for the farro, adjusting the cooking method/time accordingly.
Make it dairy free/vegan: Lemony tahini sauce with parsley is great here, too. Mix together ⅓ cup tahini, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and 2 tablespoons lemon juice, then thin it out with 3 to 4 tablespoons water. Season to taste with salt, pepper and additional lemon juice.
▸ Nutrition Information
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