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Summer Salads and Sides: Grilled Carrots and Green Onions with Lemony Tahini Sauce
Playing around with grilled veggies, have resulted in some of my personal fave meals of the summer. But its hard to get some male members of our species – the hubs included – super stoked about grilled veggies. Anytime I’m making space for them on the grill: eye-rolls. Chock it up as another one of my “wild hippy-dippy ideas.”
But sometimes “wild” turns out amazing. I love roasted carrots and green onions. But, I wanted a different sauce than the perfunctory yogurt sauce with mint leaves. So while scooping tahini onto a carrot stick one day… I realized that might be was the answer. And my-oh-my, this sauce was the answer!
I made this for a group that included the husband’s friends. We are talking meat eating, former Army Green Berets and Navy Seals. Guys whose plates haven’t seen a vegetable for years. And I was watching them help themselves to seconds. While pointing at their plate asking, “Whats in this?”
“Love,” I tell them. “Love.”
Cue the eye roll, and “No really, M! Whats in this?”
You guys, this dish is VEGAN. Meat eating military/former military guys aren’t big fans of answers without the words “bacon grease,” “cheese,” or “meat” in them. So, forgive my reluctant honesty.
If you want to make a grilled veg dish that is different than anything else and will knock people’s socks off… My friends, this is your new, simple best friend. It might not be terribly pretty, but it sure is tasty;)
And it gets a big stamp of approval from non-vegetable lovers!
- 10 medium size carrots, peeled, green tops removed, and halved lengthwise
- 5-6 green onions, bottoms removed and halved lengthwise
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
- 2 tbsp. tahini
- juice from 1/2 lemon (or more to taste)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. ground sumac
- 1/8 tsp. chili powder
- 2-4 tbsp. water
- kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp. toasted cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp. toasted pistachios
In a small bowl, combine garlic, tahini, and lemon juice. Use a fork to whisk them together. Add olive oil and whisk to combine. Stir in ground cumin and sumac. Give it a little taste Now stir in salt and pepper to taste. Sauce will be very thick at this point. Add 2 tbsp. of water and whisk to combine. If sauce is still to thick add additional water 1/2 tbsp. at a time, whisking to test thickness after each addition. We need the sauce to drizzle over the vegetables easily, so aim for this consistency. (NOTE: The thickness or thinness of the tahini you use has a big effect on how much water you will add. Some brands I only need to add 2 tbsp. and others I end up adding the full 4 tbsp.) Taste again and season with salt and pepper or add additional lemon juice as desired. If desired, sauce can be made 24 hours ahead and stored in the refrigerator.
Prepare grill so that coals or gas heat the interior to around 350 degrees with the lid closed.
While grill reaches desired temperature, toast cumin seeds, then pistachios separately in a clean dry skillet over medium high heat until each is just fragrant and pistachios turn a little golden. Immediately remove from respective skillets to cool.
Toss carrots and green onions with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
Brush grill with oil to prevent sticking and arrange carrots and onions so that the cut side of carrots is touching the grate. Close lid and grill for 4-5 minutes until crisp tender, then flip so that cut side is up. Rotate green onions at this time as well. Because green onions are thinner they will cook more quickly and may need to be moved to a less hot portion of the grill at this time. Close lid and cook for 3-4 more minutes until carrots are tender and some parts are darkened or even lightly charred.
Once carrots and green onions are done, transfer to serving platter and drizzle lemony tahini sauce over the top. Sprinkle with toasted cumin seeds and pistachios. Serve immediately.