A Dish for Thanksgiving Rebels: Roasted Carrots with Maple-Harissa Glaze

There are some Thanksgiving dishes you MUST serve unless you want absolute mutiny at your table. Mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, and some variation of cranberry sauce, for example. 

But, when it comes to other side dishes, why not change things up a bit?  Who says you can't add a more interesting side dish to your Thanksgiving table?

Be a rebel. Serve your family and friends these delicious roasted carrots bathed in a spicy/sweet glaze of harissa and maple syrup.
I first heard of harissa a few years ago, but didn't use it much. Then, we went to Morocco, and I fell in love with it. It's a spicy paste made with chili peppers, red pepper, spices, garlic, and often a hint of lemon. I like it on scrambled eggs, spread on toasted bread over a creamy cheese, and stirred into sauces, especially with fish or chicken. I used it in this stew, too. You can find it in most grocery stores, or on online. My fridge is never without it.

So, for this year's Thanksgiving side dish of the year? Just toss a pound or so of sliced organic carrots with a 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 TBS of harissa and 2 TBS of quality maple syrup, then roast in a 400 degree oven until tender and starting to brown. Season with salt and sprinkle with fresh herbs before serving. Harissa has a slow, gentle heat, so you don't have to worry about your guests -- they'll come back for more. And, having something a little spicy to counter all of the heavy/sweetness on the table will brighten your plate and your palate.

Note: Make a double batch -- you'll eat the first bowl all by yourself. (Wink.)