To the vast majority of the human race, carrots are but a humble vegetable high in nutrition but low in culinary versatility. If you're familiar with chef Richard Blais's cooking, however, you would know that this perception is a gross fallacy. You can do so much with a carrot. It's the perfect blank canvas, and a slick one at that. It knows how impressive it can be, as do a small circle of chefs and cooks, but for the most part, it keeps a low profile.
Well, I'm here to expose you, carrot. You're so much more than a raw salad topping or a steamed side dish for various proteins, and you deserve so much more than to be dipped into hummus or ranch. Your naturally sweet flavor is the perfect complement for literally every other flavor. Think about it — there is literally no flavor profile a carrot couldn't fit into. It's a welcome addition to stews, curries, salads, stir-fries, pickle blends, cakes, etc.
My favorite carrot recipes, however, are the ones that showcase the root vegetable in its natural beauty and accentuate it with flavors that bring out its intrinsic sweetness, recipes that pay tribute to the carrot rather than merely allowing it to tag along.
This roasted carrots with lime, honey, and spices is the perfect example of such a tribute. The acid from the lime juice, the earthiness and spice from the cumin, paprika, and turmeric, the honey sweetness — the whole thing is like a harmonious polygamous marriage of flavors that beautifully highlight the carrot's natural, well, carrot flavors. Not to mention, it's visually stunning with its vibrant colors and its rustic simplicity. Oh, and did I mention it's the easiest carrot dish you could make next to cutting carrot sticks? Recipe below.
1 pound baby carrots or regular carrots halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 teaspoon honey (you can also use agave nectar)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1-2 lime wedges, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Trim off the carrot tops if yours have them (save the greens to use in salads or a chimichurri, à la Richard Blais) and cut the larger carrots in half lengthwise if you're using regular carrots.
- Line them on a baking sheet and toss them with the olive oil, lime juice and zest, honey, salt, and spices.
- Roast for about 20-25 minutes (depending on the size of your carrots) or until the carrots are slightly fork tender but not soft. Serve with a lime wedge.
Adapted from Familystyle Food.