This flavorful carrot recipe is inspired by the knockout carrot dish that appears on Chef Scott Cummings’ menu every night at Down Island restaurant in Oak Bluffs. Making the carrot “ash” is optional, but kind of fun.

Serves two as a first course or as part of a larger meal

3 large orange carrots (plus 1 large carrot for making ash, optional)
1/2 pound fresh baby carrots, tops removed (preferably red, purple and/or yellow), unpeeled (about 1 large bunch)
3 tablespoons canola or other neutral oil
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 or 3 shallots, quartered lengthwise, or 6 pearl onions, blanched if fresh (frozen is fine), cut in half
3 tablespoons Mermaid Farm or other thick yogurt
1/2 teaspoon (or more) Harissa paste (or substitute with Asian chile paste mixed with a big pinch of cumin)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt
1 small navel orange
12 small or medium Thai Basil or Basil leaves
2 to 3 tablespoons Marcona almonds or chopped roasted almonds (optional)

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed, heavy-duty baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel three of the large carrots and cut them in half lengthwise. Toss the halved carrots and the whole baby carrots with two tablespoons of the canola oil and about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spread on baking sheet. If you want to make the optional ash, peel the fourth carrot until you have turned it into a pile of peelings. Spread them on a baking sheet. Put both baking sheets in the oven. Roast the carrots until they are tender and browned, flipping once, about 35 to 40 minutes. Roast the carrot peelings until they are completely blackened, about 15 minutes. Let them cool and pulverize (in a coffee grinder) or crush until powdery. Spread on a plate.

In a medium nonstick skillet, heat one tablespoon of the canola oil and the unsalted butter over medium heat. Add the shallots or pearl onions and a pinch of salt and sauté until golden, 6 to 8 minutes.

Segment the orange and leave the segments in their juice. Stir together the yogurt and harissa or chile paste (beginning with 1/2 teaspoon and adding more to taste).

Arrange two plates or shallow bowls on your counter. Roll the large carrot halves in carrot ash (if using) and arrange them on the plates; arrange half of the baby carrots on top of them. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Dollop the yogurt in three spots around the carrots. Tuck half of the shallots or onions and half of the orange segments among the carrots. Add half of the fresh basil leaves. Scatter the almonds (if using) around the edges. Repeat with the second portion and serve.