One of my grandmother’s favorite sides was a simple carrot salad. Ahead of her time in many ways, she always favored vegetable-rich eating and whole grains – not a common choice for a butcher’s daughter. Whenever I see bunches of carrots with their festive green tops, I think of the lunches we shared and her vibrant, feisty personality.
Standout ingredients like sweet, tender carrots can be left whole and roasted with a simple dressing for a delicious side dish. Leave a little of the green top showing for a rustic touch.
1 bunch small carrots
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon pink peppercorns
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon salt
1 clove of garlic, minced
When I find a beautiful bunch of small carrots, I do not peel them after washing. The unpeeled surface roasts nicely and allows the carrots to retain a more natural shape. Whole, roasted vegetables also lend a warm, cozy vibe to dinner.
Begin by preheating the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the greens from the carrot tops. I prefer to leave a short stem, and if you plan to do this make sure that the stems are also thoroughly washed.
While the oven is heating, whisk together the maple syrup, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar. Coarsely crush the pink peppercorns and them to the mixture along with the paprika, salt, and garlic. Place the carrots in a large bowl and toss them with the mixture, making sure they are thoroughly coated. Arrange the carrots on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes.
When carrots are roasted, their sweetness is heightened. In contrast to using a glaze, this recipe adds an additional light touch of sweetness with maple syrup and the slight fruitiness of pink peppercorn. The flavor is bright and natural, allowing the carrots themselves to really shine.