So I have this silly thing about the recipes I share here being “blog worthy”. Whatever the hell that means. In some ways it makes its own odd kind of sense: I don’t want to be yet another blogger in a sea of bloggers telling you all about how my roast broccoli is somehow life changing. I mean, really. It’s just roast broccoli. You can find that green bastard errywhere thanks to the glory of the internet. But on the other hand, part of the reason I always feel like the recipes I share here need to have a little “twist” on the norm or be just a little different is because me and my self esteem have a definite love-hate relationship.
But let’s face it: no one is really going to be judging me on the quality of my cruciferous veggies. And stressing about whether or not a recipe is somehow “good enough” for the blog isn’t exactly worth the time and energy dedicated to worrying about it! So I’m making an effort lately to share a few of my go-to, everyday weeknight recipes like these Roasted Carrots with Green Olive Dressing, while kicking negative self talk in the face.
I roast up a tray of vegetables most days and while I’m on Team Roast All The Things, sometimes it gets a little boring. A quick addition of a sauce (like my dairy free cheese sauce) or dressing like this one are just enough to liven things up without too much hassle, especially since they can be whipped up in advance.
Sauces, dips and dressings are a big part of how I get by on the Autoimmune Protocol without meal planning (my kitchen nemesis) or getting totally bored of plain meat and vegetables. But this Green Olive Dressing is so quick and easy that you can whip it up on a weeknight while doing something else in the kitchen. In this case, roasting carrots. It’s one of what I nickname my “the cupboard is bare” recipes, since I usually have all of the ingredients in the fridge or pantry. While I do add fresh parsley or cilantro for color here, on days where I really need to go grocery shopping, I skip that completely and just throw in some extra dried seasonings.
My secret always-in-the-fridge ingredient for this green olive dressing is a jar of good olive tapenade. My favorite brand Minasso has just three ingredients: olives, olive oil and salt. Which means it’s got no creepy surprise ingredients, has no hidden nightshades and is a flavor bomb. It also keeps in the fridge forever, making it perfect for a grab and go weeknight kitchen situation. It makes an easy dressing base whipped up with olive oil and lemon juice and thickens things up nicely. If you can’t find a tapenade without added ingredients, you can substitute very finely chopped olives of your choice.
I like to play up the salty olives and brightness of lemon juice by adding some garlic, vinegar free capers and nightshade / seed free Italian Seasoning. The simple combination makes a dressing that is flavorful without being overpowering and a lovely blend of light, refreshing and fragrant. With bonus points for being ingredients I always have at home.
The green olive dressing itself goes well with simple greens, roast chicken and vegetables. But lately I’ve been particularly enjoying it paired with the sweeter root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes. It makes a great change to the typical sweet-on-sweet or cinnamon-heavy vegetable dishes at this time of the year. I make the dressing while the carrots are roasting and then, when the carrots are caramelized and just starting to crisp at the ends, but still tender, I drizzle them with the dressing just before serving. This dish is the perfect combination of sweet and savory and one I turn to on many a fall evening!
A quick note: you can use olive oil or avocado oil to make the dressing. Personally, I find the flavor of extra virgin olive oil can be a little strong for my taste, so I prefer to use a more neutral tasting avocado oil like the Chosen brand. Either will work and it’s up to you as to your preference. You can purchase Chosen avocado oil on Amazon, but you’ll find it much, much cheaper at Costco if you have a membership! (PS, no, this isn’t a sponsored post — just me chattin’ about what I use in the kitchen!)
This recipe was included in the Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable.
- 2 lbs / 900 g heirloom carrots
- 2 tbsp / 30 ml avocado oil
- 1 tbsp / 15 g garlic powder
- 1 tsp / 5 g fine sea salt
- ¼ cup / 60 ml avocado or extra virgin olive oil
- 2 - 3 tbsp / 30 - 45 g green olive tapenade or very finely chopped green olives, to taste (see notes)
- 2 tbsp / 30 ml lemon juice
- 1 tbsp / 15 g salted capers, rinsed
- ¼ cup / 8 g cilantro or parsley, finely chopped
- 1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp Italian seasoning (see notes)
- ROAST: Preheat the oven to 425 F / 220 C. Scrub the carrots clean, pat them dry and trim off any greens. Slice thinner carrots in half, lengthwise from root to tip. Cut thicker carrots into quarters so that the carrots are approximately the same thickness. Lay the cut carrots on a baking tray, drizzle them with the avocado oil, sprinkle with garlic and salt, then toss to coat evenly. Roast until the carrots are browned and caramelized, but still fork tender, about 25 - 30 minutes.
- WHISK: While the carrots are roasting, make the dressing. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a small mixing bowl and whisk together until combined. Taste and add salt, if needed.
- SERVE: When the carrots are roasted, transfer them to a serving platter and drizzle with as much dressing as you like -- you may not need it all. Sprinkle with extra capers if you like and garnish with extra cilantro or parsley. Can be served hot or cold, but it's best to add the dressing just before serving either way.
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