Cumin-scented carrots with kale and peas

I’m a sucker for vegetables in their nonstandard colors. A couple weeks’ back I bought a purple cauliflower because I thought it was pretty and it went with my sweater. Then I picked up these beautiful carrots:

And used them to make this:

I’ve had vegetable side dishes on the brain since I’ve been planning Thanksgiving dinner with my mom. I came up with this combination of carrots, peas, and kale and tweaked the dressing from a recipe in Mediterranean Fresh by Joyce Goldstein to top the vegetables.

Cumin-scented carrots with kale and peas recipe

1 1/2 pounds of carrots, washed, peeled and cut into coins
2 cups frozen peas
2 cups washed and thinly sliced kale
handful of chopped cilantro or mint for garnish (optional)

cumin-lemon dressing
2 TBS cumin seeds
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
3 TBS lemon juice
3/4 cup olive oil
fresh ground pepper, to taste

1. Fill a medium to large saucepan with water and a pinch of salt and set to boil.

2. Put a colander in the sink and prepare the dressing while you wait for the water to boil: Heat a small skillet to medium heat and toast the cumin seeds, watching carefully so they don’t burn. When lightly toasted and you can smell the cumin coming to life, remove the seeds and put them in a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle, and then grind them. In a small bowl, mash together the garlic and salt (I use the round handle of a lemon reamer) until blended into a paste. Add the cumin, lemon juice, olive oil, and mix until well blended.

3. Drop the carrot coins in the boiling water. Check after 4 minutes and cook until  you can pierce them with a fork. With a slotted spoon, remove the carrots and put them in the colander to drain. Add the kale to the colander on top of the carrots. Add the peas to the water, bring to a boil, and cook until just barely soft, about 4-6 minutes. Pour the pot with the peas over the kale and carrots.

4. In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with dressing, adding by the spoonful (you will have some dressing leftover). Garnish with chopped cilantro or mint if desired. Admire the pretty colors.

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