Monday, November 10, 2014

Roasted Blistered Carrots

These carrots are addictive. They come of the oven, browned and blistered, spicy and  crisp-tender. More like a large French fry. And how we love them. I am considering them as an appetizer after watching the family pick away at a plateful. You might've seen them as a side with roast chicken in another blog post. I find they go equally well with lamb or fish.

I do like to make them with small white and orange carrots from the farmers market.  They come in adorable twisty shapes, not the usual straight and narrow. I have a bee in my bonnet about buying carrots with their tops intact. The prepackaged, scrubbed clean little itty bitty ones are not quite the carrot I have in mind. This is the carrot that's been in the ground of late, the green frilly tops calling me, I'm fresh!! Thankfully, I and only I have to live with this pet peeve! 

I halve the fatter ones, leaving the slim ones intact. I use a limited spice palate as I want the carrot flavor to be the dominant one. Coriander and fennel seeds give the carrots a nippy flavor without heat. Carrots get a quick coating of spices and oil. A really hot oven turns these little ones into brown blistered babies!!!

Serves 4

8-10 Carrots
1 tablespoon Coriander seeds
1 tablespoon Fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
2 tablespoons Olive oil

Heat oven to 400F.

Wash and scrub carrots well. 

Cut carrots in half lengthwise. 

Blitz coriander seeds and fennel in a coffee grinder till they are coarsely ground.

Mix seeds, salt, pepper and olive oil in a bowl.

Line a sheetpan with nonstick aluminum foil.

Drop carrots into spice mixture and stir so all carrots are well coated with spices.

Arrange carrots on foil and put in the oven.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, checking occasionally at the end. Once the carrots are easily pierced with a knife, remove from oven and serve.

Carrots emerge with blistered skins and crispy tips. The spice coating has turned golden brown, giving the carrots a nice crunch. Roasting allows their natural sweetness to come through. I watch as the plateful of heaped carrots steadily disappears. This vegetable has gone from being an also-ran, to a rock star!!