Green chile herby carrots

Spring makes me think of wee lambs gambolling across clover-filled fields which then makes me think of adorable bunnies (second only to lambs in the cuteness category) and from there my mind leaps into the vegetable world and ends up at carrots. Because rabbits eat carrots, right? Only they don’t. A quick search of the ‘ole world wide web and I learned rabbits should eat mainly hay or grass (yawn). It turns out the whole carrot thing is a myth.

Sigh. What next? No Santa Claus?

I stubbornly stick on carrots and figure that if rabbits aren’t eating them, then there is probably a glut of them. Which means it’s our responsibility at Chile Trail HQ to get cooking. Carrots are naturally sweet (thus the no-no for rabbits) and are a partner for just about everything except the kitchen sink.

For something fresh and suitably spring-like, we’ve paired it with a heady blend of herbs, nuts, seeds, some toasted sourdough bread and last, but certainly not least, chile. The ingredients are whizzed up into a crumbly mixture that is a joy with carrots — any veg for that matter — or on top of eggs, a piece of fish or chicken. It’s so versatile that you’ll be dabbing a bit behind your ear and calling it eau d’ spring.

Green chile herby carrots

Serves 4 as a side dish

1 bunch carrots, about 1 lb.

1 thick slice of sourdough bread, toasted

3 Tbsp. roughly chopped walnuts

1 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

1/4 cup roughly chopped dill

1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves

1/2 lemon zest only

2 tsp. Hatch green chile flakes

4-5 Tbsp olive oil

Sea salt

To garnish:


Pumpkin seeds

Hatch green chile flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and slice the carrots lengthwise into halves or quarters, depending on the size of the carrots. Place them in an ovenproof casserole dish, drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over them, along with a healthy sprinkile of sea salt. Give them a toss to coat and place them in the oven for around 20-25 minutes, until cooked through and golden.

While the carrots are cooking, place the walnuts, pumpkins seeds and Hatch green chile flakes in a small frying pan. Toast over medium heat for several minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Tear the sourdough bread into chunks and blitz in a small blender with the nuts, seeds, chile, dill, mint, lemon zest and around 3 tablespoons of olive oil. It should form a rough and grainy paste that can be crumbled over the carrots. Add a bit more oil if needed.

Remove the carrots from the oven and place on a serving dish. Spoon some of the herby mixture over the carrots and garnish with more walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and chile flakes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Habanero berries with lime & mint

A siesta is a mighty fine thing. Some might think it’s a luxury but here at Chile Trail HQ, we think it’s a necessity, especially in the summer. Think about it — you’ve had lunch and it’s now the hottest part of the day. What are you going to do — run a 10k? Of course not. Any sensible person would put their feet up and take a nap.

A super speedy summer dessert or post-nap snack

It doesn’t have to be long but no peaking at your phone or computer. No quick notes on your ever lengthening to-do list. Feet up and eyes closed. That’s an order. Then when you wake up (it doesn’t have to be long — 15 or 20 minutes can do the trick), you’re rested and rejuvenated. Some people might even say you look 10 years younger, but that’s pushing it.

You stretch, smile and feel like a light snack is in order. Might we suggest berries macerated in a sugar syrup with lime, mint and habanero chile? Of course we can. Make it ahead of time, pop it in the fridge and serve it with a large spoonful of COYO, coconut yogurt. Suddenly you’re feeling super human, able to leap tall buildings in a singe bound.

Is it the nap or the berries? We’ll leave you to decide.

Serves 4

1 lb. mixed berries (rasp, black, straw)

1/4 tsp habanero chile powder

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

Zest & juice of one lime

A sprig of mint plus more leaves to garnish

COYO coconut milk yogurt

Wash the berries and slice the strawberries in halves or quarters, depending on their size. Put the chile, sugar, water, lime juice and zest, and the sprig of mint in a small saucepan. Place on the stove and heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Strain and pour over the berries. Allow to macerate for half an hour or so before serving with a large dollop of COYO and some chopped mint leaves.

The creaminess of COYO coconut yogurt helps to temper the fieriness of the habanero. Trust us.