How to Roast Carrots to Perfection
Your new favorite way to get your daily dose of vitamin A.
We’ve all been there before: evening is approaching and the fridge is looking pretty bare. You find a forgotten bag of carrots at the bottom of the crisper, but cold, raw carrots are going to cause a riot at the dinner table. Before you run out to the store, consider turning on your oven and transforming those oft-neglected root veggies into a delicious side dish that the whole family will request again and again. Inexpensive, healthy, and easy to make, roasted carrots are a dish that is worth perfecting.
When roasted, the natural sugars in carrots begin to caramelize, leading to a concentrated and just-sweet-enough flavor. To let that natural sweetness shine, you’ll want to keep the seasoning simple with just a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper.
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Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Use whole baby carrots or slice up full sized carrots into rounds, about ½-inch wide. Keeping the size of your chunks consistent will ensure you have even cooking. Toss carrot pieces in a large bowl with olive oil and seasonings, using 1 tablespoon oil and ¼ teaspoon per pound of carrots. Add a few shakes of freshly ground pepper to your taste preference.
Lay the seasoned carrots out on a single layer on a baking sheet, making sure to have a little space to spread them out to ensure each morsel gets browned properly. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring carrots around halfway through.
When done, the carrots should be tender when pierced with a fork and slightly golden around the edges. Give them a taste and if you think they need a bit more salt, consider sprinkling on a flaky sea salt like Maldon for a little crunch. If you’re looking for even more texture, toasted slivered almonds or pine nuts make excellent roasted carrot toppers. Whether you serve them naked or dressed up, these roasted carrots are sure to be a welcome addition at your dinner table.
If you really have a bumper crop of carrots to use up, consider trying out some other fun cooking methods for carrots like pickling, glazing, or pureeing into a dip.
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