Carrots Slow-Baked on Coffee Beans

Andy Kruse
It appeared mysteriously spartan on the menu at Coi, Daniel Patterson's ashram for food in San Francisco's North Beach: "Carrots/Coffee." What did it mean? It turned out to be genius--sweet, smoky, and earthy genius. Pencil-thin carrots are baked on a bed of coffee beans that warm gently, releasing their oils. This unexpected dish celebrates all the advantages of slow cooking: the coffee fumes gradually infuse the vegetables, creating an ephemeral sensation of something roasted that one can identify as "coffee" only after the tongue whispers to the brain.

  • 1 lb/455 g thin carrots (no thicker than 1/2 in/12 mm in diameter), peeled
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • Coarse sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 cup/90 g medium-roast coffee beans, preferably decaf

Preheat the oven to 225°F/110°C/gas 1/4. Place a cast-iron skillet over medium heat to heat for about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the carrots, olive oil, and garlic and toss until the carrots are slicked with oil and the garlic bits are distributed evenly. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

Add the coffee beans to the hot skillet and remove from heat. Shake until the coffee is aromatic and the beans look a bit oily, about 3 minutes. Scatter the carrots over the beans in a single layer and cover the pan with a lid or a sheet of heavy-duty alumi¬num foil. Bake until the carrots are fork-tender and infused with coffee oil, 2 to 3 hours. 

Lift the carrots from the bed of coffee beans and serve immediately. Discard the coffee.

Store: for up to 3 days, covered in the refrigerator. Reheat gently in a low oven.

From Cooking Slow: Recipes for Slowing Down and Cooking More by Andrew Schloss, Chronicle Books, 2013.

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Makes 4 servings
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