My life is filled with little scraps of paper with food ideas jotted on them. Back when I worked in an office, these papers littered my keyboard and computer monitor. Today they clutter up my purse and dining room table (which is where I park myself and my laptop most days). I’m constantly writing ideas down, and there are probably dozens that I forgot about before I had the chance to grab a pen.
Luckily, I get reminders of forgotten ideas from time to time. I got one about a month ago when I visited Bethlehem VegFest and feasted on za’atar pickled cauliflower on the way home. First I remembered that za’atar is awesome. Then I remembered I wanted to make something with it. Then I remembered it was these fries that I wanted to make.
I’m not big on French fries. I mean, I’d love to be big on French fries, but they just don’t give me that warm and fuzzy feeling I’d get from them fifteen or so years ago. Now it’s more of a sluggish and heavy feeling. Baked fries are another story. I’m definitely on board with French fries that come from the oven, and really definitely if they aren’t made from a white potato. My chili lime sweet potato fries are one variation on this theme. These carrot fries are another.
I’ve included a recipe for za’atar, but feel free to use your favorite blend or store bought. If you make my version, you’ll end up with enough for about three batches of fries, so plan accordingly.
I have a recommendation here. Initially I thought I’d give you a sauce recipe to go with these. Instead, I’m telling you to eat them with ketchup. I know some folks might not want to hear that. Make it organic ketchup, homemade ketchup, whatever you have to do to feel good about it. The little bit of acidity in the ketchup really amplifies the flavor of the za’atar. Better yet, add a dash of sriracha to your ketchup. A little heat makes everything better, if you ask me.
- 1 lb. carrots, sliced into French-fry size sticks
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. za'atar (use recipe below or store bought)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Preheat oven to 450°.
- Toss all ingredients together in a mixing bowl or bag until carrots are evenly coated.
- Arrange in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake until carrots are tender inside and begin to crisp and brown on the outside, about 12 minutes.
- 2 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp. sumac
- 1 tbsp. ground cumin
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano
- 2 tsp. dried thyme
- 2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1½ tsp. salt
- Place all ingredients into food processor or clean coffee grinder. Grind to a fine powder.