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Roasted Whole Carrots

Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Lindsey Lower

Hands-on time 5 mins
Total time 40 mins
Yield

Serves 4 (serving size: 2 carrots)

A classic, super simple side dish worth returning to again and again. Calling for only a few ingredients, the "yum" factor in this recipe comes down to cooking technique. Covering the pan for a portion of the cook time creates a mini oven within the oven and speeds up roasting. But it's essential to remove the foil early on to prevent buildup of steam from the vegetables' own juices. Allowing that steam to escape prevents a soggy final product. For a stunning display, use multi-colored carrots.

Ingredients

  • 8 medium carrots
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Nutrition Information

  • calories 70
  • fat 2.6 g
  • satfat 0.4 g
  • monofat 1.7 g
  • polyfat 0.4 g
  • protein 1 g
  • carbohydrate 12 g
  • fiber 3 g
  • cholesterol 0.0 mg
  • iron 0.0 mg
  • sodium 204 mg
  • calcium 41 mg
  • sugars 6 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 0 g

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.

  2. Why? Cranking up the oven temperature caramelizes the vegetables' outer layer. If too high, the interior won't fully cook; if too low, the vegetables won't brown well. Roasting temperatures will range between 375° for larger items and 450° for smaller items.

  3. Scrub carrots, and dry well; peel, if desired. Why? The goal is a dry roasting environment. Excess moisture can make outer surfaces mushy and inhibit browning. Peeling is a matter of choice: Some peels taste bitter.

  4. Arrange carrots in a single layer, well spaced on a baking sheet. Why? Roast similar types and sizes of vegetables together so everything cooks at the same rate. To encourage caramelization, make sure each vegetable sits directly on the sheet pan, and allow room for heat to circulate.

  5. Drizzle with oil, turning to coat all over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

  6. Why? A light coating of oil promotes browning and prevents sticking. But go easy: Too much oil will just soak into porous vegetables, or pool and "fry" nonporous ones. Avoid using butter, which can burn.

  7. Tightly cover pan with foil. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Uncover and return pan to oven; bake an additional 18 minutes or until carrots are tender, turning once.

  8. Why? Covering the pan creates a mini oven within the oven and speeds up roasting. It's essential to remove the foil early on to prevent buildup of steam from the vegetables' own juices.