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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.

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