Poor fries. This time of year, especially, they really get a bad rap. Everyone is trying to clean up their diets to recover from the holidays or start the new year off right, and poor fries are tossed aside like yesterday’s trash. While I totally get the logic behind laying off the traditional – starchy, white potato, well fried – fries, the general format is a great way to get an extra serving of veggies on your plate. If, that is, you swap the white potatoes for carrots and the fryer for the oven.
Yes, carrot fries. You’ve enjoyed sweet potato fries before, right? Well these aren’t so different. A fellow root vegetable, they have all the right starches to roast up crispy on the outside and doughy on the inside, just like an oven fry should.
Finish them off with a dusting of za’atar – a middle eastern spice mix consisting primarily of sesame seeds, thyme, sumac and a few other flavors (which vary slightly by country of origin/brand/person mixing it) that is far less exotic, and much easier to find (thank you, interwebs), than it sounds – and chopped parsley and a dollop of green tahini sauce.
And since it’s green, I’m preeeeeeetty sure you can count this as salad.
Baked Shoestring Carrot Fries with Za'atar
Ingredients for the fries
- 1/3 lb carrots peeled and sliced into sticks
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil or mild-flavored oil of choice
- 1/2 teaspoon za'atar spice blend see note, divided
- Chopped parsley for garnish optional
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a large baking sheet with a lightly greased piece of tinfoil or a nonstick pad and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the carrots and oil, then add 1/4 teaspoon of the za'atar and toss to coat.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, until crispy, then sprinkle with the remaining za'atar and some chopped parsley (optional).
- While the carrot fries are baking, make the dipping sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Add an additional tablespoon of water if necessary to thin out the sauce if you want.
- Serve the carrots while still hot and crispy, alongside the dipping sauce.
- Za'atar is a middle eastern spice mix consisting primarily of sesame seeds, thyme, sumac that is far less exotic, and much easier to find than you'd think, thanks to the internet.
- Flatleaf or curly parsley both work for this recipe.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
- Dipping sauce inspired by Ottolenghi