Ok, I'm at the end of the meal… well, actually I'm at side dishes!
I'm telling you I reached the end of the meal, 'cause today I want to share with you one of those recipes that to me are a clear sign of pure laziness: one of those recipes that I make when I'm out of ideas, but I want still to enjoy a good side dish, simple, quick and different from the usual (ie, for me, different from pan-fried carrots with garlic and rosemary: and I still love these carrots, by the way). In short, once discovered this recipe in a Arabic cookbook I received as a gift a long long time ago, I never left it!
This recipe has only three requisites, but all of three are vital: you must have some carrots at your fingertips, you have to love cumin (like me! Cumin, I love you) and you must have this fragrant spice at home with you (I'll have cumin for the next four or five years, since I bought half a kilo of it from an Arabic butcher in the Porta Palazzo open market -by the way, I think that Porta Palazzo is one the unmissable places to visit in a Turin tour)
If you meet these prerequisites, you can go ahead with the reading… well, you can do it even if don't meet them, but your reading won't have a practical application, in this case.
(ZRUDIYA BI-LKEMMUN, from North Africa)
Recipe adapted from the cookbook Cucina araba by Jolanda Guardi and Hocine Benchina, p. 84
Ingredients (2 servings)
* extra-virgin olive oil
* a garlic clove
* 500 g carrots (I love carrots, so I eat a lot of them, but you can decrease their amount)
* ground black pepper
* cumin (it goes to the taste… for me two teaspoons)
* lukewarm water
Peel the carrots and cut their ends, then cut them into not too rounds. Put in a pan a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil to heat and sauté the garlic for a few minutes (don't burn it, though). Now add the carrots and season with salt, ground pepper and cumin. Sauté carrots for a few minutes, until they're brown, then add some lukewarm water and continue cooking. After a few minutes check the cooking point (I prefer not to overcook vegetables: I like them a bit crunchy) and, if necessary, add some more lukewarm water: with water the carrots will soften up more quickly and the cooking liquid, mixed with spices, creates a luscious sauce.
When the carrots are ready and water evaporated, serve your side dish hot with a second course: meat or fish, these carrots will be perfect, anyway.