Mmm, fall. Welcome back sweaters, cool weather, blankets, fires, and all things pumpkin/apple/maple/cinnamon. As you maybe aware, I live for cool weather, so I am happy as a clam that all things cozy are once again in season. Let’s welcome the return of fall with a twist on the classic roasted vegetable. Now, I know there are a plethora of roasted veggie recipes out there in the blogosphere, but I hope I can convince you to give these carrots a try! I first made them years ago, when I found a recipe on epicurious that combined them with roasted pork for a one dish dinner. If you want to see the whole recipe, check that out here.
I had all but forgotten about it, but several months ago I was perusing Dropbox where a boyfriend and I used to store and share recipes and I came across this one when I was looking for inspiration for a dish to bring to an Easter brunch/lunch get together at a friend’s house. I was to bring a side dish and a salad, so I decided to make the carrots by themselves for the side. I focused more on the salad (this delicious tortellini one!), and figured the carrots to be more of an afterthought. Well, imagine my surprise when people LOVED them, and the recipe was requested multiple times. Isn’t that always the way? You think a dish is so simple and not-so-special, and then it turns out to be a hit? Just shows that simple food is always a winner.
This dish combines fresh carrots with a hot pepper (try and find a red jalapeño, hot cherry or fresno pepper), some garlic and smoky spices with some honey for a finished dish that is slightly sweet and spiced, but not overpowering in the slightest, which makes this great for a crowd. You’ll start with steam/roasting them at 400 degrees and once they are just barely tender, we’ll crank the heat to 450 for another 5-10 minutes to allow for some browning and extra caramelization. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature piled high on a platter. No one will know how easy this elegant side dish was to prepare!
spicy sweet roasted carrots.
adapted from epicurious.
2 pounds carrots (thin if you can find them), peeled, halved and cut into sticks about 1 inch in thickness.
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red jalapeño, halved and very thinly sliced (see note below if you cannot find red jalapeños).
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon grass fed butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and cut carrots on the bias so they are about 2 inches long and 1 inch thick. Slice the jalapeño and mince the garlic cloves.
In a large bowl, mix together the jalapeño, garlic, honey, water, cumin, chile powder, salt, olive oil and butter. Once well combined, add carrots to the bowl and stir to combine.
Spread carrots out on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Once carrots are crisp-tender, increase oven temperature to 450 degrees and roast for 5-10 minutes longer, until cooked through and caramelized (the increased temperature will allow the sugars in the carrots and honey to caramelize).
Serve immediately or at room temperature. Serves 4 as a side.
Note: If you cannot find a red jalapeño, feel free to substitute a hot cherry pepper, fresno chile or a green jalapeño.
**Please use organic ingredients wherever possible**