A SPLASH OF WINE
Fruity white wine echoes the sweet and tames the heat in a Moroccan-inspired carrot dish that’s perfect for spring.
It’s easy to overlook the humble carrot. Like the ubiquitous onion, the root is a workhorse vegetable, doing its duty all winter long in hearty soups and stews and—carrot cake aside—rarely taking up room in the spotlight.
Spring seems a good time to finally let the carrot step to centre stage. Slim roots in orange, purple and white, their tops intact, are concentrated little packages of carrot flavour. Snappy and sweet, they require few other ingredients to bring out their best. And, while we may consider carrots a northern vegetable, they’re as much a staple in Moroccan cuisine, where they add their colour and crunch to many dishes, teaming happily with pungent spices like cumin.
In our spring side dish, we roast carrots with the North African signature seasonings of cumin, honey and a smidgen of chili, plus a wine—Open Riesling-Gewürztraminer VQA (LCBO 134965, $12.95)—that echoes the sweetness and tames the heat. With notes of honey, tropical fruit and peach tempered by a backbone of citrus acidity, Open’s fragrant Niagara blend matches the carrots perfectly and also goes beautifully with other North African classics—think tajine and couscous—as well as Indian and Thai fare.