Carrots could easily be the bastard child of the vegetable world. I think that needs to change.
Carrots are such a tried-and-true, familiar sight in just about any kitchen; so dependable and ordinary that we don’t even notice them growing whiskers and getting limp in the refrigerator vegetable bin, probably right there next to a sad, yellowing bunch of celery.
And just forget about those elderly, foot-long, Grand Canyon-cracked carrots with their greens lopped off that you buy individually and invariably taste like a mildewed bath math; who knows how long they’ve been hanging around in storage?
The kind of carrots I’m talking about are bunches of sweet babies you can take home with their fresh green tops still attached.
I’ve been training myself to treat fresh carrots as well as any other vegetable; not as an afterthought. They taste so good to snack on when crunchy and raw, and they may be even better nutritionally when cooked.
Cooking breaks down the cellulose in vegetables so they are a bit more digestible, but the healthy beta-carotene in carrots needs fat in order to be absorbed.
Roasting baby carrots in olive oil, spices and a bright hit of lime juice is the perfect way to get all nutritious, and so delicious too.
1 pound baby carrots with fresh green tops
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice and fresh grated zest of 1 lime
1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Small handful fresh mint leaves, chopped
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Trim the tops off the carrots (you can use them in salads if you enjoy their flavor). Toss them on a baking sheet with the olive oil, lime juice and zest, agave, salt and spices.
- Roast about 20 minutes, depending on size, until the carrots are just tender and beginning ot color. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with the green onions and mint before tossing together and serving.