I’ve been on a major roasting kick lately when it comes to my vegetables. You name it, I’ve roasted it – broccoli, brussels sprouts, squashes, peppers and potatoes. And yes, carrots too.
Roasting is magical. It coaxes out the sweetness that’s lurking somewhere deep inside, and draws it out to the surface to create crisp, caramelized, nearly-burnt edges.
And let me tell you, I’m a total sucker for those crispy browned edges.
It transforms even a hard-to-love vegetable like brussels sprouts into hard-to-stop-eating nuggets of meltingly soft, slightly nutty, hopelessly addictive deliciousness… so just imagine what it can do to vegetables that you actually like.
Even better, there’s so very little effort involved to create all that magic. All you have to do is toss some fresh vegetables in a little bit of olive oil and seasonings, and a blisteringly hot oven takes care of the rest of the work while you focus on getting the rest of the meal ready.
(Or not. I could just as easily eat a whole bowl of these carrots for dinner and call it a day.)
These carrots are one of my current favourites. The combination of balsamic vinegar and honey creates a glossy dark brown glaze and has a sweet-and-sour flavour that accentuates the sweetness of young pencil-thin carrots.
It’s also a perfect dish for the multi-coloured carrots I found at the market, since it preserves their rainbow bright hues, making for one hell of an eye-catching side dish.
I like to roast the carrots just long enough to get a few caramelized edges without sacrificing their inherent toothsome nature, but if you prefer your carrots to be meltingly soft rather than crisply al dente, simply roast them for 10 minutes longer or so.
Whatever you do, though, just make these. Tonight. Tomorrow. Or even better, tonight and tomorrow.
Make sure to use tender young carrots for this recipe – the kind sold in a bunch with their green tops still attached – rather than bagged utility carrots. If you can find them, rainbow-coloured heirloom carrots make a particularly pretty presentation.
- 2 bunches fresh carrots, peeled and trimmed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 425F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Slice the carrots in half lengthwise. In a large mixing bowl, toss with oil, salt and pepper until evenly coated.
- Arrange carrots in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, and scatter thyme sprigs overtop. Roast in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
- In small bowl, whisk together honey and balsamic vinegar. Pour over the carrots, and gently roll them around to coat. Roast for a further 15-20 minutes or until carrots are tender and caramelised. Serve immediately.