The house was filled with the rich aromas of roasting meat and vegetables. The air was heavy with the fragrance. You could taste it with your nose. Mom had a roast in the oven for dinner. I didn’t care about the meat. I was waiting for the sweet, roasted carrots that were in the same pan. They were so dark they turned almost black. She had to make extra just for me. Tonight I’m serving roasted carrots with thyme to accompany roast chicken breasts.
Carrots and Nutrition
Often taken for granted, carrots are nutritious, versatile and always available. Eaten raw, used as lunch box filler, and for flavoring soups, stocks, and stews, humble carrots have much more to offer. With a high natural sugar content, roasting carrots brings out their wonderful sweetness and makes for an easy side dish to accompany meat and poultry. You can find the usual orange carrots in every market, but venture to a farmers market and you might find carrots in shades of white, gold and purplish-red. When you combine the colors, your finished dish has extra eye appeal.
Roasted Carrots with Thyme
High in water content, carrots will lose more than half of their weight when roasted, so don’t be surprised at the amount of raw carrots. When you buy carrots, be sure they are firm, not rubbery. I prefer to buy them with the greens still on. They will have better moisture and flavor.
How to Prep and Roast Carrots
To prepare carrots for roasting, cut them into long, thin sticks, about 2 ½” – 3” long (6.5 – 7.5 cm) and about ½” wide (1.25 cm). For average size carrots, start by trimming the top and bottom, then cut them in either half or in thirds crosswise. Then cut those pieces into sticks. Toss with olive oil and plenty of chopped fresh thyme, add salt and pepper. Roast carrots on a foil or parchmentcovered rimmed baking sheet until firm but tender. The edges will start to brown. Towards the end of roasting I’ll mix in a few finely minced garlic cloves and roast just a couple of minutes longer.
To Finish Carrots
For extra fall flavor, toss the hot roasted carrots with a little real maple syrup before serving. A tablespoon or two is all you need. A sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley is nice too.
Roasted Carrots with Thyme
- rimed baking sheet
- 3 pounds carrots
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoons ground black pepper
- 3 large garlic cloves chopped fine
- Trim tops and bottoms off the carrots and peel. Depending on the size, cut carrots in half or thirds across the width into about 2 ½” – 3” sections. Cut each piece in half lengthwise, then half again (quarters). If the carrots are really big, you may need to cut the pieces into thirds. The goal is long, thin strips, but not too thin or they may burn.
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Cover a half sheet rimmed baking pan with foil. Toss carrots with oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Spread evenly on the baking sheet in mostly a single layer.
- Roast until carrots are starting to turn brown at the edges; add minced garlic and roast just 2-3 minutes longer. In my convection oven, my carrots take about 20-25 minutes. Taste one and decide for yourself if you want them to roast a little longer, but don’t let them get burned.
These were SOOOOO delicious. They are even good as leftovers. I eat carrots because they are good for me not because I find them particularly delicious...these on the other had were so good I was delighted to eat carrots!
Sarah E. Welch says
Why do you prefer to buy them with the tops still on them? I've always heard that the greens pull water from the carrots.
Hi Sarah. Good question. I buy them with the greens on because they are usually fresher, then remove the greens before storing them in the refrigerator in plastic. Here is a good link about buying vegetables. http://whatscookingamerica.net/Vegetables/VegetableBuyingGuide.htm
Michelle K says
Simple elegance comes to mind! I am so tired of steaming veggies, boring, and harder to get them timed perfectly. Will try these. Mmmmm. Thanks for the tip on them loosing so much water, helpful!
What a great way to serve carrots! I've been on a huge carrot kick lately, and these look like a perfect way to prepare them! 🙂
Rivki Locker says
This is just lovely. I think I'll try these for the Jewish New Year this week. Thank you for sharing!
Happy Rosh Hashanah Rivki! I was thinking also that sprinkling on some pomegranate arils would look nice, and some fresh chopped chives. Good colors.
Snippets of Thyme says
Such a beautiful plate of carrots. This reminds me to roast them more often as they are a family favorite here.