Let’s talk about these carrots.
I’ve always been lukewarm about carrots. Sure, I’ve eaten plenty of carrot sticks in my day..and inhaled little shreds of carrots into my lungs, sending myself into one of those ugly-coughing-fits, I hope I’m not the only one. Most of the cooked carrots I’ve had have been those little whittled dudes–aka baby carrots, aka NOT an actual baby carrot–or mushy coins taking up too much space on my plate. I never loved or hated carrots, I just didn’t really have any feelings for them.
I decided I needed to get over it. Mostly because I love those bunches of carrots with their frilly tops and spindly bodies. I wanted, so badly, to love to eat carrots as much as I liked to look at them. I went for roasting, a surefire way to prepare pretty much any vegetable. I liked the idea of sweet spices, a bit of heat, and a bit of acid. Cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne get whisked into honey thinned out with lemon, carrots get tossed with the mixture, drizzled with oil, and sprinkled with salt. It all gets tossed onto a baking sheet and hits a hot oven until the thin ends are crisp and caramelized, while the thick ends manage to be tender yet retain a bit of bite.
My carrot indifference has turned into carrot love. Love wins!
Spice Roasted Carrots
I have used maple syrup instead of honey for these carrots with great results. You can omit the ginger and cayenne if you want, but I think the cumin and cinnamon are a must. Also, I should have weighed my carrots to give you and exact amount, but this recipe is easily adaptable for any amount. It’s sort of a toss it into a bowl situation.
2 bunches of carrots, tops removed
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
big pinch of salt
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tablespoon honey
oil for pan and drizzling (I have used both grape seed and olive with fine results)
Preheat oven to 425*F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and drizzle the parchment with oil.
Scrub or peel carrots. In a large bowl whisk together honey, lemon, and spices. Toss carrots with the dressing. Put the dressing coated carrots onto the baking sheet, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, toss, and roast an additional 10-15 minutes–depending on how large your carrots are and the doneness you would like.
These carrots are great with roasted or grilled pork loin, or with chicken.