Cumin Roasted Carrot and Kumara
Step up your salad game with this seriously tasty Cumin Roasted Carrot and Kumara. I never thought plain old carrots and kumara could create such a culinary coup, but oh my – they do. Layer them up with baby spinach or rocket, my game-changing hemp and sunflower aioli, and a sprinkling of dukkah, and you’ve got yourself a meal that’s so delish I could literally eat it for lunch and dinner – Every. Single. Day.
Here’s what’s about to go down…
- Perfectly roasted carrot and kumara, that soft and tender on the inside and caramelised crunchy on the outside
- A luscious garlic aioli drizzle (that just happens to be oil and nut-free)
- 6 ingredients, 5 minutes to prep + 20 minutes to bake, it’s that simple
When you look at the ingredients list, I know you’re going to think, hang on Buff, am I missing something? But truly, this salad needs not an ounce of anything else. Grab the recipe below, and give it a whirl this weekend. It’s my winter warming go-to right now, so know you’re going to love it too!
Watch how to make this Cumin Roasted Carrot and Kumara Salad
Ingredients for this salad
I love a simple recipe, and when you’ve got kids roaming round your ankles (or shoulders), anything that saves time and prevents kitchen chaos is a game changer. It’s here where this salad really shines. When I first made it I wondered whether having just two core ingredients (carrots and kumara) might be too basic. But once you roast them in the salty cumin, layer them with punchy rocket or baby spinach, drizzle with aioli, then add crunch and texture with the dukkah, dinner is totally done and lady – you deserve to put your feet up.
Here’s what you’ll want to grab from your local:
- Kumara (or sweet potato)
- Ground cumin
- Aioli (my hemp & sunflower one is amazing)
- Salad greens
Plus some coconut or olive oil and salt from the pantry.
Substitution ideas for this salad
I had all the ingredients above in my pantry already, which is what gave me the idea for this combo in the first place. Who doesn’t have carrots and kumara in the fridge? But here are some substitution ideas if you don’t have them at them ready. I’m all about using what you have – it’s a rare moment when I’ll drive to the store for a specific ingredient, so don’t expect you to either.
- Kumara – swap for pumpkin, yams, or potatoes.
- Carrot – swap for parsnip, cauliflower or red onion.
- Cumin – swap for paprika, smoked paprika, or turmeric.
- Aioli – use store bought, a mayo, or at a pinch you could drizzle some coconut yoghurt mixed with lemon juice and salt. You can also make your aioli with all or half cashews instead of the seeds.
- Baby spinach – I love baby spinach or rocket with this, but finely sliced silver beet is also great, and watercress and mesclun works too.
- Dukkah – toast some sesame seeds in a pan instead.
Nutritional benefits of carrots
Carrots don’t get a lot of love in the recipe world! Honestly, when was the last time you looked for a carrot recipe? (Carrot cake doesn’t count). But they such a magic vegetable, both raw, and cooked. Raw they’re crunchy and sweet, while roasted like we’ve done (and I’ve used baby carrots too – even better), they take on a super sweet caramelised flavour, and have the most divine tender texture.
Here are some nutritionist highlights of our pointy headed friends too:
- Rich in beta-carotene – beta-carotene is the precursor to vitamin A, an essential nutrient that supports our eye health, and carrots are one of the best sources. You know how your mum used to tell you to eat your carrots so you could see in the dark? Well, she was partially right!
- Great source of antioxidants – carrots also contain two key antioxidants, carotenoids and anthocyanins. Antioxidants in general you will probably know, attach to free radicals helping to offset inflammatory damage in the body. It’s like a single person going to the dance who’s suddenly been linked up with a date. Happy days.
- Naturally sweet – carrots have a natural sweetness, which is enhanced even more when you roast them. Because of this, they’re a great way to add that sweet element to your meals, without adding sugars or sweeteners (this recipe for example has zero added sugars or sweeteners and no fruit, yet the result has a remarkably good sweet balance to it).
Tips for making this carrot and kumara salad amazing
- Warm your tray – unless your baking cookies, I’ll always leave my tray in the oven while it’s pre-heating. That way when you take it out to add your oil and vege, the oil melts and spreads evenly over the veges, without you having to use as much. If I’m using coco oil, I’ll pop the oil on the hot tray, let it melt, and then add the vege and spices and toss to coat.
- Choose different colour kumara – red, gold, and purple if you can find them. There are actually over 10 different varieties of kumara or sweet potato! This gives your salad a beautiful rainbow look.
- Wedge your vege evenly – you want your veges to cook evenly, so you don’t end up with some slightly undercooked and some mushy. So whatever size carrots and kumara you choose (there can be huge variation), be sure to wedge them into similar sized pieces. 8 cm long by 3 cm thick is what I’ve gone for and is perfect.
- Coat your vege fully – get your hands in there like I have, and give your vege a good coating in the oil, salt, and cumin. This is what will give them that luscious caramelised crisp on the outer, and make every single piece worth salivating over.
- Layer in two layers – here’s a tip for your salads. Use a big flat plate, and layer them up in two layers – half the spinach, half the carrots and kumara, then drizzle half the aioli and sprinkle half the dukkah. Then go it all again. This way the flavours will be evenly distributed right through the salad, without us tossing the salad in the dressing which can sometimes lead to a goopy mess. And if you’re maki
How to store your salad
This salad is beautiful warm, but also delicious cold for lunch the next day. If you’re meal prepping or batch cooking it for lunches, let the roast veges cool before you layer them up with the greens – that way they won’t wilt and the salad will stay fresh and textured. This way, it’ll happily store in the sealed container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Love meal-style salads like this? Try these:
- Spring Harvest Salad
- Falafel Salad with Garlic Tahini
- Kumara Chickpea and Walnut Salad
- Roast Vege and Feta Salad
- Crispy Chickpea Salad
If you try this Cumin Roasted Carrot and Kumara Salad, please do let me know! Leave me a rating and comment below, or tag me @begoodorganics in our pics over on Instagram – I can’t wait to hear from you.
Cumin Roasted Carrot and Kumara
- 750 g kumara (red & gold)
- 300 g carrots
- 1 tbsp coconut / olive oil
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ c hemp and sunflower aioli
- 4 handfuls salad greens (rocket, spinach, mesclun, watercress)
- 2 tbsp dukkah
- Preheat oven to 200°C fan bake. Slice the kumara and carrots lengthways into wedges (about 8 cm long, 3 cm wide). Place veges on a warmed oven tray, drizzle with oil, cumin and salt, and mix to coat. Bake for 20 mins until soft and golden.
- Meanwhile make the hemp and sunflower aioli.
- To serve, layer up the salad in two parts – half the greens, carrot and kumara, aioli, and dukkah, then repeat with the other half of each. Top with some of the chopped up carrot greens if you have them, and serve. Will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge.
- Gluten free: As is.
- Nut free: As is.
- Sugar free: As is.
- Oil free: Roast the vege with a drizzle of water instead.
- If making ahead, wait for the veges to cool before adding to the greens.