There is simple but profound nugget of wisdom I’ve discovered during this long, snowy wintertime of root vegetable eating: All root vegetables (and arguably any vegetable, for that matter) taste better roasted. Something lovely and miraculous happens when those chunks of vegetable goodness take a dive in olive oil, followed by a slight sprinkling of salt and pepper before hitting a 400-degree oven for 20 or so minutes of extreme heat exposure. Their outsides begin to glisten, their insides become tender, and an overall washing of natural sweetness (yes, veggies can be sweet) extends from the inside out. Suddenly you find yourself saying things like, “Didn’t we just buy a new bag of potatoes?” and “Did we really just eat an entire bag of carrots?!?”
This recipe for roasted carrots is probably as old as time. There are no tricky instructions, no surprise ingredients: just simple steps and yummy results. Sometimes the best things in life really are the simplest, don’t you think?
• 12 carrots, cut diagonally into 1- to 1 ½-inch pieces (if carrots are really thick, you can cut them in half lengthwise, too)
• 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
• ½ teaspoon kosher salt
• freshly ground black pepper (about ¼ teaspoon)
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil (you don’t have to do this, but it definitely makes cleanup a breeze). Place carrots on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix ingredients on the baking sheet until oil, salt and pepper are evenly dispersed over the carrots. Spread carrots in an even layer, and bake in the oven until carrots are tender, about 25 minutes.
Oh, yeah! And here’s the other nifty little tidbit I learned during the recent carrot-roasting process: If you go the organic route with the carrots (so they don’t have all the pesticide business on them), there’s really no need to peel them before roasting. Actually, not peeling them helps add a really nice carmelized crunch to the outside. Woot!
Are you all about roasting vegetables? Any great recipes with secret ingredients or interesting spices that you whip up at your place? Let’s hear it!