Carrots fall into a category with things like socks, hand towels, and lip balm. We pretty much take them for granted, but were they suddenly to disappear from our lives, we’d miss them sorely. So let’s give the humble carrot its due respect because this is one root vegetable that deserves more than relegation to a salad component or oft-ignored player on the crudités platter.
Especially because with just a bit of prep, some basic spices, and some time spent roasting in the oven, you can created a roasted carrot dish that will give everything else on the table a run for its money even if you have set out a rich and varied holiday dinner tableau. "I have very fond memories of making roasted carrots on Christmas," says chef and recipe developer Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge, who adds: "I’m usually in charge of the vegetables," and this dish has long been a go-to.
"These carrots pair of very well in a dinner with any form of roasted meats—for example, roast beef, roast chicken, or roast pork," says Olayinka. "And if you’re vegetarian, they will pair very nicely with some hummus or a nut roast."
Gather your ingredients to make these roasted carrots
The best thing about this roasted carrots recipe is, of course, that it leads to a delicious dish. But the second best thing is the simplicity. That goes for the actual steps of prep and cooking and also for the ingredients. All you need is about 12 medium-sized carrots, two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, a half teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of black pepper (ground), and three tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley.
If you don’t have fresh parsley on hand, dried will do fine. And with that in mind, you probably have all the ingredients needed for this dish on hand already, don’t you?
Prep the carrots for this roasted carrots recipe
Scrub the carrots to remove any dirt or debris. "My best tip is to make sure these are washed throughly with a sponge before roasting," says Olayinka. Wash and scrub them well "to avoid grit. Carrots come from the ground, and dirt often gets trapped at the top of carrots. These don’t need to be peeled, as that is more waste."
While most roasted carrots recipes do call for peeling the carrots, with this roasted carrots recipe, cleaning them instead of peeling them creates a more aesthetically pleasing dish. Don’t even trim the tops off, as those too look great when served. Do trim greens if they are present, however.
Season and bake your roasted carrots
Place carrots in an oven-safe dish and preheat your oven to 330 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat the carrots with the extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and black pepper, then bake them for 50 minutes in the oven at that 330 degree heat. When the time has passed, take the carrots out of the oven and then sprinkle with some chopped parsley. The roasted carrots are now ready to serve and enjoy. And yes, you can by all means prep the dish ahead of time and pop it into the oven later.
Going beyond the basic roasted carrots dish
Served just as prepared in this recipe, this roasted carrot dish will be a winner with any dinner. But why stop there? Sliced into thin coins, these carrots merge beautifully into a rice dish. Chopped into a salad, they create a unique texture blending and add lots of great flavor. "I also make a roasted carrot soup in which you would need to roast the carrots like this beforehand," says Olayinka.
The possibilities are endless when you have a great staple ingredient dressed up like this. And don’t hesitate to dress up this dish to your own liking, either: Try adding a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg, red pepper, garlic, or whatever else sounds good to you.