Simple, yet scrumptious, you can dress up steamed carrots with all kinds of seasonings and sauces. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking the vegetables you see everyday are boring. Absolutely not! In particular, this recipe for Moroccan carrots with yogurt dressing will enchant and delight your taste buds, and it can be made in a matter of minutes!
There is no reason that fast, convenient recipes need to be boring, and this steamed carrots recipe is a prime example. Taking ingredients we use everyday and drawing inspiration from other cultures, we can create some of the most amazingly unexpected flavor combinations.
Moroccan carrots with yogurt dressing are naturally sweet and expertly seasoned. First, the steamed carrots are marinated in a delicious combination of bold citrus and delicate rose water, plus honey and spices. Finish them off with a coating of cool and creamy yogurt dressing for one amazing bite!
For more Moroccan-inspired carrot dishes, check out my Chilled Moroccan Carrot Salad or this recipe for Pan Roasted Carrots with Toasted Spices.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Carrots – Heirloom baby carrots are my top choice, but go ahead and use the carrots you have available.
- Olive Oil – Floral and robust, olive oil forms the base of the marinade.
- Lemon Juice – Brightens the marinade with an acidic pop.
- Honey – Adds subtle sweetness. Pure maple syrup is a great substitute.
- Rose Water – Adds a delicate, floral flavor. Check the label to make sure it is food grade.
- Garlic – Peppery and pungent, garlic adds a zesty kick.
- Salt – Balances out the sweetness of the carrots while elevating the flavor of everything around it.
- Black Pepper – Earthy with a dash of heat.
- Cinnamon – Adds warmth and accentuates the deep, earthy sweetness of the carrots.
- Greek Yogurt – This thick, cool, and creamy yogurt forms the base of the yogurt dressing.
- Heavy Cream – Offers a rich creaminess to the dressing.
- Fresh Herbs – Dill and cilantro contribute herbaceous vibrancy and freshness.
About the Carrots
Although this recipe can be made using large, full-sized carrots, using baby carrots cuts the prep time. Plus, the smaller size means they cook faster.
Bags of baby carrots that you may be used to seeing in the grocery store are fine to use. The only thing to keep in mind is that unless they’re organic, they probably have a preservative coating on them. This is typically what causes them to become slimy so quickly.
To help prevent this from happening, see if you can find heirloom baby carrots instead. This is actually what the baby carrots in the bag look like straight from the ground. Because they still have the green tops attached, this variety tends to be fresher, and the appearance is nicer as well.
About the Yogurt Dressing
The dressing is a base of Greek yogurt mixed with a bit of heavy cream to thin it out. This makes it easier to pour over the warm carrots. If you’d like to use regular (non-Greek) yogurt, that will work as well, and there will be less calories in the dressing.
The flavors of the dressing are primarily bright and a bit sweet. We start with:
- rose blossom water
- lemon juice
The contrasting flavors of clove, black pepper, and cinnamon add an unexpected but pleasant bite to the warm Moroccan carrots.
Rose blossom water is used for both cooking and non-cooking uses. (It’s great for healthy hair and skin!). Be sure to use food grade rose blossom water, as some varieties have fillers and additives that you want to avoid in food preparation.
HOW TO MAKE STEAMED CARROTS WITH YOGURT DRESSING
- Prepare the Carrots. Peel the carrots and trim off the ends. Microwave the carrots for 5 minutes or steam for 8 minutes in a steamer. Cook until they are al dente and drain off any accumulated water.
- Make the Marinade. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, rose water, garlic, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Pour over the steamed carrots, then toss well to coat and absorb the juices. Set aside to cool.
- Prepare the Yogurt Dressing. In a separate bowl, mix the heavy cream and Greek yogurt together.
- Dress the Carrots. Cover Moroccan carrots with yogurt dressing, then stir gently until well coated.
- Garnish & Serve. Move the dressed carrots to a serving bowl or platter. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and as much black pepper as desired. Serve and enjoy!
FAQ for Perfect Steamed Carrots
I recommend steaming carrots over boiling for a couple of reasons.
First, steaming is the best way to gently cook and soften your carrots without sacrificing any of the nutrition. Boiling causes water soluble vitamins like vitamin C and B vitamins to leach out into the water, where they will eventually get dumped down the drain.
So basically, steaming your vegetables is a great way to avoid letting nature’s hard work go to waste!
Secondly, when you boil carrots or any vegetable, they can go from al dente to total mush in a matter of seconds. Steaming is a slower process and helps avoid overcooking.
The cook time for steaming carrots depends on the size of the carrots, the quantity, and the method you use for steaming.
Steaming carrots in a microwave usually takes a couple of minutes less than on a stove top or in a vegetable steamer. However, microwaves tend to cook unevenly, so there is a risk of overcooking your carrots.
For this baby carrots recipe, it will take approximately 8 minutes to steam 2 pounds of baby carrots in a steamer, or 5 minutes in a microwave. This will cook them to al dente.
The short answer is yes.You can make steamed carrots, with or without a steamer, using any of the following methods :
Countertop Steamer – These handy gadgets make life easy but are certainly not the only option.
Steamer Basket – Use this stovetop method to steam the veggies in a basket or wire mesh colander positioned above the water line. Make sure the carrots aren’t submerged.
Aluminum Foil – Here’s a super helpful hack for steaming vegetables on the stove top even without a steamer! Start by placing 3 balls of aluminum foil (golf ball-sized) in the bottom of a medium pot and adding about ½ inch of water. Place a heat-resistant plate on top of the foil balls, cover, and bring the water to a boil. Carefully remove the lid, add the veggies to the plate, cover the pot, and steam until tender.
Microwave – Place carrots in a microwave safe bowl with some water, cover tightly with plastic wrap, then cook until tender. The microwave is a quick and easy way to cook steamed carrots, but it tends to cook unevenly. If you choose this method, keep a close watch to avoid overcooking.
Steamed Carrots with Yogurt Dressing
- 2 lbs carrots long, thin (See NOTE 1)
- Trim the ends and peel the carrots. Place in a steamer and steam for 8 minutes or microwave for 5 minutes. Drain any accumulated water. They should be al dente.
- In a small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the steamed carrots, tossing to coat and absorb. Set aside to cool.
- Mix the yogurt and heavy cream together. Spoon over carrots, stir gently, but do not over mix. Transfer to serving platter or bowl and sprinkle the herbs on top and a grind or two of fresh ground black pepper.
- Any type of carrots will work, but I use heirloom baby carrots. The color and flavor are a nice change from traditional baby carrot recipes, and the greens make for a nice presentation.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.