Benoît’s Carrots with Cumin and Orange
This beautifully seasoned carrot dish was on the menu when Benoît Guichard took over Jamin in the fall of 1996. The chef’s secret weapons are orange juice (which adds a point of fruity acidity to the carrots as they cook) and cumin seed, one of the vegetable’s traditional accompaniments.
32, Rue De Longchamp
Telephone: 01 45 53 00 07
Fax: 01 45 53 00 15
8 to 10 servings
Total Timeunder 1 hour
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Recipe Courseside dish
Taste and Texturefruity, light, spiced
Type of Dishvegetable
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ pounds carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 plump, fresh clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 bouquet garni: 2 bay leaves and a bunch of fresh thyme, tied together with household string
- Sea salt to taste
- ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (juice of 3 oranges)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Toast the cumin seeds: Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the cumin and toast, stirring and shaking the pan constantly to prevent burning. Watch carefully, for the seeds will brown quickly. (Lower the heat if the cumin appears to be browning too quickly.) Toast just until the cumin fills the kitchen with its fragrance and turns dark brown, about 4 minutes total. Immediately transfer the cumin seeds to a plate to cool.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the carrots, garlic, sugar, and toasted cumin seeds. Add enough water to cover the carrots by half. Add the bouquet garni and salt to taste.
Butter a piece of wax paper, poke several holes in the paper, and place it, butter side down, on top of the carrots. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes. Remove and discard the wax paper and the bouquet garni. Add the orange juice and cook over low heat, uncovered, stirring from time to time, until almost all the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. At serving time, stir in the butter. Taste for seasoning and serve.
2001 Patricia Wells