To round off my husband Pascal's birthday week we had his favourite roast pork belly on Sunday - he wanted potatoes as a side but I vetoed that idea and chose a vegetable dish as my jeans were starting to feel super tight after all our recent pigletting!
This is a recipe I ripped out from Olive magazine and it took about 45 minutes to make.
Ingredients for 4 people (as a side):
1 tin of chickpeas (410g), drained and rinsed
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chilli powder (optional - we left it out)
1 tsp smoked paprika (I used normal as that is all I had)
1 kg carrots, halved lengthways and widthways
2 tbsp runny honey
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 tbsp tahini (stir the jar really well before measuring)
1/2 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tbsp olive oil
Water (amount depends on how thick you want your sauce)
Salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 200 C / 180 C fan / gas mark 6.
In a roasting tin, add together the chickpeas, a good slug of olive oil (2 tbsp), the cumin, paprika, chilli powder and salt. Give it all a good stir so it is completely mixed. Bake for 40 minutes, shaking the tin every now and then until the chickpeas are crisp (I did this about 3 times).
Peel and cut the carrots lengthways and widthways and then roll them in a tablespoon of olive oil and the honey and season well. Lay in a roasting tin and put them in the oven on a shelf under the chickpeas (if possible) and roast for 30 minutes.
To make the sauce, mix together the tahini, garlic, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, olive oil and enough water to make it spoonable. I added about 3 tbsp of water I reckon - I did it bit by bit and tasted it as I went. I was surprised at how much I had to stir the tahini to start with - it was very stiff.
Once the carrots and chickpeas are ready, combine together with some parsley and spoon over the sauce.
I was a bit dubious about this to start as the chickpeas are very very crispy (I didn't expect that despite the recipe title) and my sauce originally didn't come together - I had to season it well. However it definitely grew on me after a few mouthfuls and Pascal and I decided we really liked it. It would actually work well as a veggie main with some feta or halloumi or also as a side to some lamb. A good fusion of flavours and very simple and easy to make.