Pickling and then grilling carrots gives them a briny and charred flavor that matches perfectly with the spicy charmoula sauce.
Slideshow: More Grilled Vegetable Recipes
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
3 cups white balsamic vinegar
1 3/4 cups water
2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 pound baby carrots with tops—halved lengthwise and trimmed, 1 cup lightly
packed chopped tops reserved
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 1/2 cups lightly packed parsley leaves
1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
1 red Thai chile—stemmed, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove
2 cubes (1 ounce) ice
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup roasted whole natural almonds, finely chopped
How to Make It
In a medium saucepan, toast the black peppercorns over moderately high heat, swirling the pan, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar, 1 1/2 cups of water and the 2 tablespoons of kosher salt and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the carrots. Let stand for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the cumin seeds over moderately high heat, swirling the pan often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Pour the seeds into a blender. Add 1/2 cup of the parsley leaves, the chopped carrot tops, cilantro leaves, chile, garlic and ice. Blend into a coarse paste, then drizzle in the tahini and puree until a smooth sauce forms. Stir in the lemon juice and remaining 1/4 cup of water and season the charmoula sauce with salt and pepper.
Drain the carrots and discard the brine, or save it to use again. Pat the carrots dry and toss them with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Light a grill or heat a cast-iron grill pan. Add the carrots and grill over high heat until crisp-tender and grill marks appear, about 8 minutes. Transfer the carrots to a plate and let cool to room temperature.
Pour all but 2 tablespoons of the charmoula onto a platter and scatter the grilled carrots over the sauce. In a bowl, toss the remaining 1 cup of parsley leaves with the reserved 2 tablespoons of charmoula and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and scatter over the carrots. Sprinkle with the chopped almonds and serve.
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