Harissa-maple carrots with whipped ricotta make for an incredible fall side dish. Easy to whip up – literally – and loaded with sweet, savory flavor!
This is a fall side dish that takes the center stage because 1) it’s delicious and 2) it’s just beautiful! This is the perfect way to upgrade your glazed carrots. You get a little sweet, a little spicy, and the fluffy decadence of whipped ricotta cheese.
How to Make this Harissa-Maple Carrots with Whipped Ricotta:
First, let’s look at the ingredients in this dish!
For the whipped ricotta, you should buy good quality, fresh ricotta cheese. The consistency will be a bit different than what you might normally see at the super-market. The most notable difference is that it’s a bit drier.
That being said, if your super market only carries one or two varieties of ricotta cheese and you can’t find the basket ricotta cheese, you can buy the whole milk kind and strain it. If you decide to forego all of that and you don’t feel like straining it, you can drain off as much of the liquid as possible and just carefully adjust the amount of liquid you add to the ricotta (otherwise, you’ll end up with goop.) I recommend going on the hunt for good quality ricotta cheese!
I prefer tubed harissa paste as opposed to the jarred variety, but any harissa will do. If else fails, you can mix powdered harissa with a bit of extra virgin olive oil as well! If you can’t find harissa paste, you can omit or add a bit of crushed red pepper or cayenne powder to add a touch of heat.
You can adjust the sweet and spicy levels to your preferences. If you want it less sweet and more spicy, use less maple syrup and more harissa. If you like it extra sweet, add a few drizzles of maple-lemon dressing on top or omit the dressing entirely if you prefer.
To Make the Harissa-Maple Carrots:
You will start by roasting the carrots in the maple syrup and harissa mixture. Once they are fork-tender and beginning to char in places, remove them from the oven. While the carrots roast, prepare the whipped ricotta and the simple maple-lemon vinaigrette.
You can serve these carrots in a platter with the whipped ricotta and vinaigrette piled on top, or you can serve on each dish and allow guests to add as much of the ricotta and vinaigrette as they like! It’s delicious either way.
Looking for more vegetarian recipes? Check my archives!
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Harissa-Maple Carrots with Whipped Ricotta
- Sheet pan
- 12 whole carrots greens trimmed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon prepared harissa paste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh minced parsley optional, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Trim the greens from the carrots and scrub the dirt off with a paper towel.
Roast the Carrots:
- In a bowl, combine the olive oil, maple syrup, and harissa and whisk until smooth. Add the carrots to a roasting pan and toss them in the whisked harissa-maple oil and transfer to the oven.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the carrots are fork tender, turning once halfway through cooking.
Prepare the Whipped Ricotta:
- In a food processor, combine the ricotta cheese, heavy cream, extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Pulse until smooth and creamy. If the ricotta seems too thick, add a touch more heavy cream or extra virgin olive oil until your desired consistency is reached. The whipped ricotta should be spreadable. Set aside at room temperature until the carrots have finished roasting.
Prepare the Maple-Lemon Dressing:
- In a small bowl, whisk the maple syrup, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest until smooth. Set aside.
- Arrange the carrots on a serving platter with a dollop of the whipped ricotta on top. Sprinkle the dish with a bit of minced fresh parsley. Finish with a few drizzles of the maple-lemon dressing. Serve at the table with additional dressing and whipped ricotta for your guests to add more as they like. Enjoy!