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Great Roasted Carrots

20 mins Cook
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Copy of NomNom Recipes 1 74

To achieve the most delicious roasted carrots, it’s essential to use a very hot oven. This way, they can develop a beautiful, golden-brown exterior while simultaneously becoming sweet and tender on the inside. After all, nobody desires insipid, pale baked carrots that resemble they’ve been simply boiled!

Roasted Carrots
nomnomwow.com Great Roasted Carrots

Great Roasted Carrots


I’ve mentioned this before, and I’ll emphasize it once more – the easiest method to instantly elevate the flavor of any vegetable is through roasting. The oven has the remarkable ability to completely transform plain vegetables, enhancing their inherent taste, coaxing out hidden sugars for caramelization, and imbuing them with color as their exteriors turn golden. As we all know, color equates to flavor!

Carrots provide a fantastic illustration of the enchanting alchemy that occurs during roasting. While raw carrots certainly have their place in the culinary world with their crisp freshness, they simply cannot compare to a mound of freshly roasted carrots, possessing sweetness and tenderness within, adorned with those enticing caramelized edges!

What you need for Roasted Carrots

To achieve outstanding roasted carrots, all you require are carrots, preferably olive oil, salt, and pepper. You’ll find yourself indulging straight from the baking tray!

However, I’ve taken it a step further by introducing garlic for an extra burst of flavor. I wanted to demonstrate how to incorporate it midway through the cooking process to prevent the formation of small burnt garlic pieces on the carrots. The same approach applies when using ginger and dried herbs.

How to roast carrots


Begin by peeling the carrots and then cutting them into uniformly sized chunks. Coat them with oil, salt, and pepper, and proceed to roast them for 30 minutes at 220°C/430°F, making sure to flip them halfway through the cooking time.

If you opt for the garlic addition, introduce it when you flip the carrots. This method yields delightful, golden bits of garlic instead of the undesirable bitterness of burnt garlic. The key to success here lies in roasting at a high temperature, which imparts a delightful color to the carrots, enhancing their flavor. Many recipes employ lower temperatures that will indeed cook the carrots adequately, but they won’t achieve the desirable browning effect. Moreover, if left in the oven longer, they risk overcooking and developing a wrinkled, less appealing texture.

For best results, cut the carrots into slightly larger chunks to prevent them from cooking too rapidly, which could result in excessive softening before achieving the desired browning.

PRO TIP: If you choose to use frozen carrots (thawed), they will work acceptably, but they may not brown as beautifully due to their higher water content.

How to serve roasted carrots

The most straightforward way to enjoy this dish is as a side – simply heap it into a bowl and serve it alongside the main course. Refer below for some serving suggestions.

To elevate it into a main course, a wonderful option is to transform it into a salad by drizzling on some Tahini Sauce and sprinkling a handful of almonds or pine nuts and some fresh coriander/cilantro – akin to the style of Ottolenghi! Alternatively, you can enhance it with a generous dollop of lemon yogurt. I’ve included these ideas in the recipe notes for your convenience.

What goes well with roasted carrots


Roasted carrots complement a wide range of proteins, including chicken, pork, lamb, beef, and seafood.

Personally, I adore serving them with roasts. However, since I have only one oven, I opt for roasted carrots as a side when the roast can stay warm for the 30 minutes it takes to roast the carrots without losing its freshness. This works beautifully for roasts such as the following:

In particular, I prefer to serve roast chicken straight from the oven, so roasted carrots don’t typically accompany chicken. While it’s possible to roast the carrots in the oven simultaneously, it’s essential to acknowledge that the more items you have in the oven, the longer it may take for everything to cook (a variable you’ll need to manage). Additionally, items on the lower shelf might not brown as nicely.

However, don’t limit yourself to roasts alone! Roasted Carrots also make for a fantastic and quick side dish for those busy midweek meals. Here are a few suggestions:

Now, I’d love to hear from you – what are your preferred flavorings for roasted carrots? Do you enjoy them plain, with garlic, parmesan, lemon, herbs, or something else entirely? Feel free to share your creative ideas!

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Great Roasted Carrots

Great Roasted Carrots

maimoona
To achieve the most delicious roasted carrots, it's essential to use a very hot oven. This way, they can develop a beautiful, golden-brown exterior while simultaneously becoming sweet and tender on the inside. After all, nobody desires insipid, pale baked carrots that resemble they've been simply boiled!
prep time
10 mins
cooking time
20 mins
servings
2
total time
30 mins

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 kg / 2 lb carrots , peeled and ends trimmed (Note 1)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 3/4 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated using microplane (optional, Note 2)

  • EXTRA FLAVOURING OPTIONS

  • See Note 3

  • OPTIONAL GARNISH:

  • Fresh parsley

Instructions

1
Preheat your oven to 220°C/430°F (200°C fan).
2
Cut the carrots into 5cm / 2" lengths on a diagonal. For the thicker ones, cut them in half lengthwise to ensure they are roughly the same width.
3
Place the carrots on a baking tray, drizzle them with oil, and generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Give them a good toss to coat evenly.
4
Roast for 20 minutes: Spread the carrots out on the tray and roast them for 20 minutes.
5
Flip and add garlic: Remove the tray from the oven. Push the carrots to one end and add the garlic, tossing it gently. (This is the perfect time to include any other Flavor Options you desire.)
6
Roast for an additional 10 minutes: Return the tray to the oven and roast for an additional 10 minutes. After removing them from the oven, toss the carrots to ensure they are coated in the garlicky oil and juices present on the tray.
7
Sprinkle with parsley and serve!

Notes

Carrots: Fresh carrots yield the best results. While you can use thawed frozen carrots, they tend to release more water, affecting their browning. I recommend a sturdy baking tray for better heat retention, which aids in browning. If your carrots aren't browning as much as you'd like, consider boosting your oven temperature towards the end of cooking. Garlic: Introduce garlic midway through baking to avoid black, bitter burnt pieces on your carrots. Apply the same method for ginger and dried herbs. It's optimal to either use a garlic press or finely grate the garlic using a microplane to achieve a "paste-like" consistency, which adheres to the carrots better than finely chopped garlic. The same principle is true for ginger. ADDITIONAL FLAVOUR VARIATIONS: Before roasting, coat carrots in: 1/4 cup (25g) grated Parmesan (reduce recipe salt to 1/4 tsp) A mix of 2 tbsp parmesan & 2 tbsp panko breadcrumbs Your choice of spice mix (1.5 to 2 tsp) 2 tsp Dukkah A Moroccan blend: 3/4 tsp each of paprika & cumin, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp turmeric, and 1/4 tsp ginger powder Everyday seasoning: 3/4 tsp paprika, 3/4 tsp oregano or thyme, and 1/4 tsp each of onion and garlic powder 1/2 tsp of Five Spice (for a subtle flavor) At the 20-minute mark, add: 2 tsp finely grated ginger 1 1/2 tsp of your preferred dried herbs (like mixed, Italian, parsley, basil, thyme, oregano, or a mix) 1 tsp cumin seeds Finish with: A splash of lemon or lime juice Your choice of sauce from below Fresh herbs like parsley, chives, coriander/cilantro, green onions, or thyme Toasted nuts like almonds, pine nuts, or walnuts A sprinkle of fresh parmesan Sauces & Toppings: Tahini Sauce (Ottolenghi-style salad): Mix 1/4 cup (55g) tahini, 2.5 tbsp water, 1.5 tsp honey, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 garlic clove (pressed or finely minced), and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper. Either drizzle this over the carrots or spread on a platter before adding the carrots. Top with toasted almond flakes or pine nuts and fresh coriander/cilantro. Lemon Yogurt Sauce: Combine 1 cup of yogurt, 1 finely minced garlic clove, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1-2 tbsp lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper. Adjust to taste. Nutritional Information is per serving.
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