Fall is in full swing; landscapes filled with bright reds, yellows, and oranges abound; and nowhere is that more prevalent than in the local farmers markets. Pumpkins, squashes, peppers of all colors, and of course, carrots are everywhere in the markets in the fall. With carrots overflowing the tables of the markets, it’s nice to have a plethora of ways to prepare this inexpensive, healthy, and incredibly versatile vegetable. From simply eating them raw in a crudité, or pureeing them in a complex, silky soup, the possibilities are truly endless. Yet, with the chilly fall evenings and busy family schedules, a warm and simple carrot dish is the ticket for a healthy weeknight meal.
Roasting carrots enhances their natural sweetness and adding some fresh thyme and rosemary accentuates their earthiness. This is a very simple dish with very simple ingredients, but they all meld perfectly together with very little prep or cook time. The green onions caramelize and add a crispy element to the tender carrots. Serve these with a simple roasted or grilled chicken and harvest apple salad for the perfect meal to celebrate the bounty of the Fall harvest.
Also called baby carrots, young carrots are anywhere from 2 to 6 inches in length no more than a 1/2 to 3/4 inches in diameter at the widest part. Note: This is not to be confused with the peeled and chopped grocery store baby carrots. Young carrots are tenderer with a thinner peel than the older, 12 inch or larger carrots that you find in the grocery store (and chopped up as baby carrots). If washed thoroughly, these young carrots do not need to be peeled (as long as they are organic) and are perfect for roasting. This recipe is easily adaptable to accommodate more or less servings. This one serves about 4 people. Figure about 4 to 5 carrots, depending on the size, per person.
Approximately 1 lb. young carrots, 4 to 6 inches in length.
5 or 6 red or green scallions (small baby green or red onions)
1 sprig fresh rosemary
3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Remove the stems from the carrots. Using a vegetable brush, thoroughly scrub the carrots, removing any small roots and dirt. Pat dry.
- Rinse the scallions. Pat dry and remove the green parts, keeping about 2 inches of green above the white/red parts. Try to have somewhat evenly sized scallions, so you may need to halve some of the wider ones horizontally so that they cook evenly.
- Rinse the herbs and pat dry. In a shallow baking dish, place the carrots, scallions, and fresh herbs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss with the olive oil.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the onions are crispy and caramelized and the carrots are crisp tender. Be careful not to overcook as they will go mushy very fast! Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes before serving.
- Serve with roasted or grilled chicken and a simple Harvest salad (red leaf lettuce, diced apple, dried cranberries, toasted pumpkin seeds, and a hearty white cheese, such as a cinnamon-dusted Toscana cheese. Toss with an apple cider or citrus vinaigrette). Enjoy and happy harvest!