Hi friends, and welcome to Leisure Fan Club’s inaugural post! I promise I won’t post paragraphs about how my husband was putting together Ikea furniture (which, for the record he was) before getting to the goddamn recipe, but at the same time, I do feel like I should write a little something since this is the first post and all.
Anyway, welcome to my brand new blog. It’ll feature recipes, travel recaps and tips, city guides and lifestyle gems.
Ok, turns out I didn’t have much to say so let’s get to the food part. First recipe is a roasted carrot za’atar bowl. It’s a perfect weeknight recipe, especially if you make the pickled red onions in advance, and it holds up pretty well for lunch the next day if that’s something you’re into. Here’s a picture of the finished product to get you excited.
A couple notes before I dive in. I opt for rainbow carrots whenever possible because I always prefer for my food to be colorful, but if regular orange is all you can get ahold of, that’s fine too. I’m also partial to Persian cucumbers. They’re smaller, crisper, and more flavorful. I actually feel pretty strongly about these, but I suppose the giant watery ones will do in a pinch. As for the pickled red onions, feel free to use whatever recipe you’d like, or use the one I’ve provided, which is from Josef Centeno’s cookbook, Bäco. It’s a rosy, minty delight.
Mint and Rose Pickled Red Onions
- 1 medium red onion
- 1/2 serrano chile, seeded
- 1/2 habanero chile, seeded (optional)
- 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 fresh mint leaves
- 6 fresh basil leaves
- 1 dried rosebud
- fresh black pepper
Za’atar Carrot Bowl (4 servings)
- 1 lb rainbow carrots
- 1 8oz box Israeli couscous
- Persian cucumbers
- 2 small avocados
- 1 lemon
- A couple pinches of sumac
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp za’atar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pickled red onions
If you’re making the pickled red onions, go ahead and do that now!
- Cut the red onion, serrano chile and habanero chile (if using) into thin slices. Put the onion slices in a heatproof bowl and set to the side.
- Heat the vinegar, oil, chiles, sugar and salt in a small saucepan over high heat until boiling. Remove from heat once the mixture reaches a boil and pour it over the onion.
- Tear the mint and basil and stir them into the onion/vinegar mixture. Crumble the rosebud into the mixture and add a few grinds of black pepper. You can use this immediately or store it in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Now that that’s done:
- Preheat the oven to 425° and start cutting the carrots in half.
- Toss chopped carrots with the 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1/2 tsp za’atar seasoning, and 1/2 tsp of salt and line them up on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 30-40 minutes, turning everything about halfway through.
- While the carrots are roasting, make the Israeli couscous per the instructions on the box.
- Slice the cucumbers into thin rounds and then chop those in half.
- Slice the avocado. (If you plan on serving all 4 portions at once, slice both avocados. If you plan on saving 2 for later, wait to cut the second avocado. Nobody likes a brown avocado.)
- Assemble! Arrange the carrots, cucumbers, avocado and pickled red onion atop the Israeli couscous. Then squeeze some lemon juice over each bowl and top with feta and a pinch of sumac. If you’re feeling extra (or like me you bought a massive bag of rose petals and don’t know what to use them for), throw a few rose petals on there. Now enjoy!