Roasted carrots are my idea of candy. Not that I reserve this ritual for carrots alone. Roasting all kinds of fruits and vegetables is a complex chemical transformation that results in an amazing texture and flavor.
This is not a fast, high heat roast. It’s a slightly slower, steady roast that causes carbohydrate and amino acid molecules to go through a series of changes ending with caramelized carrots that have the texture of a sweet potato and a few burnt ends.
I coat the carrots in a lime dressing and then slow roast them for a little over an hour, or until I have tender sweet carrots, bursting with flavor. I like to add some aromatic spices and sweetness, but adding the honey probably promotes some burning so you could leave it out if you prefer. Or you can coat them with a simple cooking oil or olive oil and some lemon juice.
As for the roasting surface, I use either a non-stick mat or parchment paper. Because the Silpat and other non-stick mats tend to absorb odors of the food that has cooked on them I reserve one Siplat for all my savory roasting and the other for sweets.
You can eat these simply by spearing each carrot with a fork and muching down to the stem, or add a dressing and a bed of greens and enjoy it as a warm salad. For the dressing, I usually add the ranch dressing from my book. Feel free to use your favorite dressing, or whip up a small batch of lemony garlic yogurt dressing, tahini dressing, or maybe a creamy vinaigrette. Or just insert fork into carrot and eat.
To make a creamy vinaigrette, just add a tablespoon of dairy-free milk or yogurt to your favorite vinaigrette, or try this one.
Roasted CarrotsChoose carrots that are on the slimmer size and try to find carrots that are about the same size so they all roast somewhat evenly. I love the colors of Heritage carrots, but any slim carrot will work well. And just in case you don’t have enought time, you can also roast carrots at 400°F/200°C for 30 minutes, or until tender when a fork is inserted in them.
- 1.5 lbs (.7 kg) carrots
- 3 tablespoons of cooking oil (I use olive or sunflower)
- 2 tablespoons of lime juice (about one lime)
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon of cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
- Preheat your oven to 350°F/175°C.
- Chop the greens off the carrots and save for pesto or a salad.
- Wash and dry the carrots.
- Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and whisk to blend.
- Coat the carrots with the lime mixture using a basting or pastry brush or gently spoon it over each carrot. Shuffle the carrots to ensure they are well-coated.
- Roast the carrots for an hour, or until the carrots are tender.
- Serve with greens and a dressing, or as a side dish.
- Cover and refrigerate for a week or so.
Makes about 4 side servings