Saturday, June 13, 2009

About those carrots

I never was and still am not a carrot lover. Sure I'll eat them in salad, and I'll eat them in dishes like chopped and sauteed as part of a sauce, ragu or other stew type meal. But as the main star? Nah. However, I was trying to expand the veggie repertoire last year and on the hunt for delicious yet simply prepared vegetables. I was blog window-shopping as I call it - googling images on blogs that would pull me in enough to read the recipe. Suddenly, I spotted these at Culinary in the Desert. How could I not make them? Charred savory carrot slices coated in honey sheen. Mmmm. Since that first time I can't stop thinking about making them and the day I made this last batch, they were ready before dinner so I just scooped them on a plate and shared them with the kids a la carte.

It's just the perfect combination of savory, hint of spicy black pepper and the sweet honey. The honey isn't cloying, nor super sticky, just a slight thin glaze to coat the carrots. You really don't even need a recipe but here it is anyway. Like Joe mentions, the heat of the carrots will spread that small tablespoon of honey to coat every single piece. Don't be tempted to glop it on.

Roasted Carrots with Honey
adapted from Martha Stewart via Culinary in the Desert

1 1/2 lbs of carrots - sliced on the diagonal, I usually make them about 1/2" thick. If the carrots are thicker at the top end, slice them in half lengthwise then on the diagonal.
1 tablespoon of olive oil - I just drizzle it on, probably use way too much but it's still good.
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of honey

First preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Then toss the sliced carrots with enough olive oil to coat them well and season with salt and pepper liberally. Don't skimp on the seasoning, treat these like you would a potato.

Next roast them at 450 degrees for about 30 minutes, turning them about halfway through. Mine are usually done at 25 minutes so check on them. You want them to be charred around the edges only. Those charred bits are a nice contrast to the sweet.

As soon as you take them out of the oven, hit the carrots with the tablespoon of honey. This is my poor attempt at an action shot of drizzling the honey. Toss the carrots and the honey will thin with the residual heat.

Finally serve and gobble them up. Serve them to anyone who thinks they don't like carrots and watch them convert. Unless that person is my brother who has had a personal anti-veggie vendetta since birth. Between my pickiness and my brother's veggie boycott I'm surprised my mother survived our childhood with sanity intact.

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