Carrots, one of the sturdy workhorses of the vegetable family, are transformed when roasted – their natural sugars caramelize and their delicate flavor is beautifully enhanced. I like roasting carrots whole to serve alongside meats; but they can also be sliced and roasted, then thrown into soups, pastas, pot pies, composed salads, or even atop pizza for a sweet and colorful punctuation.
Here is a quick and easy recipe I like from Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook (1999):
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt (I prefer sea salt)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill or parsley
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
If the carrots are thick, cut them in half lengthwise; if not, leave whole. Slice the carrots diagonally in 1 1/2-inch-thick slices. (The carrots will shrink while cooking so make the slices big.) Toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a sheet pan in 1 layer (if you have parchment paper, this is a great time to use it!) and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, until browned and tender.
Toss the carrots with minced dill or parsley, season to taste, and serve.
Yield: 6 servings