It seems like we have been lacking vegetables on our plates lately. I know we must have been eating vegetables, but not as many as I wanted. So for last night's supper, I paired roasted carrots with the burgers Daddy-O cooked on the grill. They were an excellent substitute for fries.
I love roasted vegetables but I had never roasted carrots before. As I was flipping through the pages of this cookbook (a favorite gift this Christmas,) I found a recipe I wanted to try. This recipe caught my eye because of the word "quick" in the name. I don't usually buy baby carrots, but that's the point of this recipe. Choosing the ready-to-use baby carrots makes it super quick to prepare. There are days when "quick" is a good thing.
The original recipe made 8 servings. There are only two of us here. So I cut the amount of carrots in half. And I changed the size of the cooking pan. Well, it turned out that my math didn't quite work out, so I had to scoop out some of the carrots because one bag was too many carrots for my 9x13-inch pan. But the amount I ended up with, after some adjustments, was just right for us.
Any time you roast vegetables, you want them in a single layer in the pan and you don't want them too crowded. If you really crowd the vegetables in, they will steam as much as they roast. It's the brown color, the caramelized exterior, that comes from the dry roasting that gives such a good flavor to roasted veggies.
We polished off all of the roasted carrots that night. Plus, while he was grilling, Daddy-O nibbled on the raw carrots that didn't fit in the pan. An appetizer and a side dish from one bag of carrots!
QUICK ROASTED BABY CARROTS
12-oz baby carrots (that's about 3/4 of a 16-oz bag)
3/4 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Toss the carrots with the olive oil in a 9x13-inch pan. Spread them in a single layer in the baking pan. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
Place on pan on middle oven rack and roast for 12 minutes. Stir carrots (or shake pan) and roast 8 minutes more, stirring or shaking another time or two to get the sides browned and carrots tender.
To make more servings:
4 servings: Use the whole bag of carrots, you'll need 1 tablespoon oil and a slightly larger pan. The original recipe specified a pan with deeper sides than a baking sheet like I normally use. Has to do with not burning the carrots while they cook.
8 servings: Use 2 (16-oz) bags, 2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and spread them in the bottom of a broiler pan.
You can see this is a very simple recipe. Adjusting the amount is easy. (After all, it's just carrots, a little oil and a tiny bit of salt.)
Daddy-O's verdict? He went back for seconds. That's a pretty high approval rating for carrots.