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Hasselback Smoked Carrots with Salsa Verde


smoked hasselback carrots with salsa verde with grilled shallots and sliced almonds

If you know me at all, you know I’m very far from a vegetarian, so when I make vegetarian dishes, I always try to cook for meat-eaters. That is, if a meat-eater absolutely loves this veggie dish, without thinking that it needs a meat component, I’ve done my job right. And vegetables don’t have to be boring, there are so many delicious ways to make grilled vegetables on the bbq. I’ve also really loved playing around with smoking different vegetables on the Alchemy, or cooking them over the live-fire pit to get a beautiful fire-kissed char. Whether the vegetable is the star of the dish, or I’m grilling it up to use as a component of a sauce or as a side, I’m always trying to get it to have the most flavour possible. That’s why I absolutely love this recipe for Hasselback Smoked Carrots with Salsa Verde. It’s always a hit with meat-eaters and vegetarians alike!


You might be asking, what is a hasselback carrot? If you've ever heard of hasselback potatoes, you're going to want to try these hasselback carrots. If you’ve never had a hasselback potato, you might recognize it by it’s signature accordion-looking top, made by small slits that are cut across the top of the potato. You essentially do the same thing by cutting small slices into your carrots, always making sure they don't go all the way through. This method helps the carrots cook easily and evenly and gets whatever seasoning you’re using into every nook and cranny - it’s such an easy way to make your veggies look more impressive and taste even better. The carrots go into the smoker with butter and are seasoned with salt and pepper, the little slices help infuse the carrots with that buttery flavour and a hit of smoke. Once the carrots are tender they go onto the plancha for a beautiful golden sear and then are served up with an easy salsa verde, and topped with sliced almonds and grilled shallots. If you want to find out how to make my Hasselback Smoked Carrots with Salsa Verde keep reading, or jump to the full recipe.


cutting the greens off of the carrots, leaving about an inch left

Set smoker to 350F. Peel the carrots and cut off the greens, leaving about an inch at the top.


making slits in the top of the carrot to create the hasselback look

Cut shallow slits across the top of each carrot, making sure not to cut them all the way through.


the hasselback carrots in a container with butter and being seasoned with salt and pepper

Add the carrots to an aluminum tray or other heatproof pan and add the butter and season with salt and pepper. Place in the smoker for about 25 minutes, until the carrots are cooked but not overdone.


the carrots with butter go into the smoker and a green pepper and head of garlic are also added to the smoker

Place the green peppers and garlic in the smoker. Allow to cook until softened and nicely charred, about 15-20 minutes.


shallots are in water in a small cast iron pan on the plancha

Place a small cast iron pan on the grill and fill with water. Add the shallots to the pan to blanche.


peeling the skin off of the green pepper after it has come out of the smoker

Remove the carrots, peppers and garlic from the smoker. Set the carrots aside. Peel the peppers and add to a blender.


the smoked green pepper, smoked garlic, canned green chilies, cilantro, juice from three limes, salt, pepper and olive oil are all added into a blender to make the salsa verde

Squeeze out the smoked garlic into the blender and add the canned green chilies, cilantro, juice from three limes, salt, pepper and olive oil. Blend until smooth.


the smoked hasselback carrots searing on the plancha

Place the carrots on the plancha to sear, turning to get all the sides.


blanched shallots cut in half and grilling on the plancha

Remove the shallots once softened , peel and cut in half. Place on the plancha to grill with a bit of oil.


plating the hasselback smoked carrots on the salsa verde on a platter and topping with the grilled shallots and sliced almonds

To plate, spread the salsa verde on the bottom of your platter. Place the carrots on top of the salsa verde, piling them on top of each other a bit to get some height. Garnish with the sliced almonds, season with salt and pepper and stagger the grilled shallots on top.


And now for the full recipe...


Hasselback Smoked Carrots with Salsa Verde

Serves 2-3 people

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes


Ingredients:

10-12 whole, mixed sized carrots

½ cup butter

Salt

Pepper

4-5 shallots

sliced almonds

Salsa Verde:

2 x 114ml cans diced green chilies

1 small bunch cilantro

3 limes

¼ cup olive oil

3-4 cloves garlic

2 Poblano or green peppers

Salt

Pepper


How to Make Hasselback Smoked Carrots with Salsa Verde


Set smoker to 350F.


Peel the carrots and cut off the stems, leaving about an inch at the top. Cut shallow slits across the top of each carrot, making sure not to cut them all the way through. Add the carrots to an aluminum tray or other heatproof pan and add the butter and season with salt and pepper. Place in the smoker for about 25 minutes, until the carrots are cooked but not overdone.


Place the green peppers and garlic in the smoker. Allow to cook until softened and nicely charred, about 15-20 minutes.


Place a small cast iron pan on the grill and fill with water. Add the shallots to the pan to blanche.


Remove the carrots, peppers and garlic from the smoker. Set the carrots aside. Peel the peppers and add to a blender. Squeeze out the smoked garlic into the blender and add the canned green chilies, cilantro, juice from three limes, salt, pepper and olive oil. Blend until smooth.


Place the carrots on the plancha to sear.


Remove the shallots once softened, peel and cut in half. Place on the plancha to grill with a bit of oil.


To plate, spread the salsa verde on the bottom of your platter. Place the carrots on top of the salsa verde, piling them on top of each other a bit to get some height. Garnish with the sliced almonds, season with salt and pepper and stagger the grilled shallots on top.


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Matt Basile

MEET THE CHEF

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Chef Matt Basile is the founder of the Toronto-based street food brand, Fidel Gastro's, which, within four years, went from an underground sandwich pop-up to an internationally recognized food brand. Now almost a decade later, Matt has a still growing business of food experiences, restaurant consulting and new and exciting foodie-filled projects on the way. Matt always strives to be different in an industry steeped in tradition. Matt is also the author of the best-selling cookbooks Street Food Diaries and Brunch Life, and was the host of the travel food show Rebel Without a Kitchen for two seasons. More here!

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