Springtime is the right time for finding sweet baby beets and carrots in the market. Look for small, firm beets and slender carrots with their bright, feathery greens still attached--a sign of freshness. To make this dish even prettier, mix golden or red-and-white striped beets (sometimes called Chioggia, Candy Stripe, or Bull's-eye) with crimson beets. Look for bunches of carrots in mixed colors as well.
1 pound cipollini onions, peeled
3 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, divided
3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons cracked black pepper, divided
8 baby beets with tops, peeled and halved
1 tablespoon honey
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 orange, halved
1 pound small carrots with tops
4 fresh thyme sprigs
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 500°. Toss together first 3 ingredients, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. vinegar, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. black pepper in a medium bowl.
Toss together beets, next 2 ingredients, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, and remaining 1 Tbsp. vinegar in a large bowl. Place beets in a single layer in center of a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bring up sides of foil over beets; double fold top and side edges to seal, making a packet. Place packet in 1 end of a jelly-roll pan.
Bake beets at 500° for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut 1 orange half into 6 wedges. Squeeze juice from remaining orange half to equal 1 1/2 Tbsp. Cut tops from carrots, leaving 1 inch of greenery on each. Toss together carrots, orange juice, orange wedges, thyme sprigs, and remaining olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Remove pan from oven, and place onion mixture and carrot mixture in pan next to foil packet, spreading in a single layer. Return to oven, and bake beets, onions, and carrots 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; combine vegetables, and serve immediately.
I absolutely love the combination of flavors that this recipe provides. However, I was a little disappointed with the recipe because of the baking temperature. I thought it looked a little high for roasting vegetables, but went ahead anyway. When I peeked in the oven during the first roasting of the beets and saw that my jelly roll pan was bending and warping, I was a little more uncertain about that temperature. I let the beets finish, and added the rest of the veggies to the (now less than flat) pan and put it back in the oven again, as per the directions. After I started to smell smoke, I ditched the directed temp and took the oven down to 425, after which the vegetables finished cooking on my now blackened and bent jelly roll pan without incident.... If you make this, LOWER THE BAKING TEMPERATURE!!! Or try baking in a glass Pyrex or something... I will make this again, but definitely with alterations to cooking temp and time.
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