Recipe: Ben's Roasted Carrot with Labneh and Carrot Top Salsa Verde

06 Jul 2023

Recipe written and created by ambassador and MasterChef contestant, Ben Trobbiani!

I love the different textures and flavors that you get in a bunch of rainbow carrots, and this dish really highlights them. It’s a vegetarian, low-waste side dish that is super versatile, serving as both a side and a great vegetarian main. It pairs perfectly with slow roasts, such as lamb shoulder. Also, please don’t peel your carrots when roasting them. I can promise you that carrots are far better with the skins still on!

Labneh, also known as hung yogurt, labni, lebni, or zabedi, is a thicker, creamier, and tangier yogurt that's popular in Middle Eastern cuisine.

Ingredients 🥕 

  • 1 bunch of rainbow carrots, cleaned
  • X sunflower seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Young, green carrot tops for garnish


  • 500g yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. fine salt

Carrot Top Salsa Verde

  • 1 loose cup of picked carrot tops
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp of capers
  • ¼ tsp of red miso
  • ½ tsp honey
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon

Instructions 👨‍🍳 

1️⃣     Start with the labneh. Line a sieve with cheesecloth, muslin cloth, or food-safe chux. Place the sieve over a bowl, ensuring that the bottom isn't touching the bowl, so the liquid can drain. In the container the yogurt comes in, mix the yogurt, vinegar, and salt together well. Pour this into the lined sieve and place it in the fridge to drain for 6-12 hours, depending on how thick you'd like the labneh to be. For this dish, I'll drain it for around 8 hours or so. Once the labneh is thick, wrap it up in the cheesecloth and store it in an airtight container in the fridge until needed. It will keep for at least 4 days in the fridge.

2️⃣     For the carrot top salsa verde, add the carrot tops and garlic to a pot of water. Bring it to a boil and boil for 4 minutes. Drain the carrot tops and garlic in a sieve, then rinse them with cold water to cool them down. Set the garlic clove aside. Wrap the cooked carrot tops in a clean tea towel and squeeze out as much water as possible. Add the carrot tops, capers, red miso, honey about two-thirds of the lemon juice and stir very well to combine to a mortar and pestle or a small food processor. Crush them together well until the carrot tops have been broken down. Add the olive oil and mix well to combine. Taste the mixture and see if it needs more lemon juice or salt and adjust accordingly. It should be tangy and herbaceous. If you're preparing this ahead of time, you can place a layer of clingfilm or beeswax paper on top of the salsa verde to prevent oxidation. It will keep in the fridge for 5 days.

3️⃣     Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (fan-forced). Place the carrots on a baking tray.
Drizzle generously with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat evenly, then roast in the oven for 25-35 minutes, depending on the size of your carrots. You want them to be fork-tender but not overcooked.

4️⃣     While the carrots roast, place the sunflower seeds on a baking tray and put them in the oven for 5-8 minutes, or until golden brown and well-roasted. Once cooked, remove from the oven, season with salt, and set aside.

5️⃣     To finish, spread the labneh on a plate, then use a spoon to create peaks and troughs. Sprinkle over the salsa verde and some olive oil. Add the roasted carrots and top them with the sunflower seeds. Garnish with the carrot tops.

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