With year-round availability, carrots are dependable and budget-friendly vegetables. Not just for snacking or shredding onto a salad for color, try roasting carrots. Whole roasted carrots taste delicious as roasting brings out their natural sugars. This is so simple to do it’s hardly a recipe. And don’t you always have carrots in the fridge?
Whole Roasted Carrots
Because of their natural sweetness, carrots are one vegetable you can usually coax your family into eating. For me, eating them roasted brings back instant memories of my mom’s cooking.
Add whole carrots to a rectangular baking dish, toss with a little olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, ground black pepper and granulated garlic. You can also use a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. If your carrots are really big around, you might cut them in half lengthwise
Roast carrots at 400°F for about 40 minutes until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife. They should have some nice brown spots in places. That’s it.
Eat them alone or, if your carrots came with nice fluffy tops that are in good shape, make carrot top pesto to dress them and give them some pizzaz. Find the recipe here from a recent post.
While we see mostly orange carrots at the market, carrots come in purple, black, yellow, red and white. As history has it, Dutch growers cultivated orange carrots in the 17th century as a tribute to William of Orange, the politician who led the the struggle for Dutch independence. And the color stuck.
Carrots and Nutrition
Carrots are rich in vitamins A, B6 and K1, plus biotin and potassium. The vitamin A is from beta-carotene, which is great for eye health and our immune systems. And it’s better absorbed in cooked carrots.
Red and purple carrots provide anthocyanin and lycopene, which are powerful antioxidants. For more reading on the nutritional benefits of carrots, read this post.
To Peel or Not to Peel: That is the Question
Peeled or not, either way carrots are still healthy. If you buy conventionally grown carrots versus organic, scrub them well with a produce wash such as Eat Cleaner (which is what I use), or peel them. If you can, buy organic carrots.
Some people think the peels are a little bitter, and they look better peeled most of the time, so it is up to you whether to peel or not. If you are making broth or stock, adding them to a stew or pureeing or juicing, you don’t need to peel.
Last tip on vegetable peelers. I like what are called Y peelers the best. They are sharp, cheap and you can work really fast with them. Find them at cooking stores and online at Amazon.
Roast Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto
- 8 medium carrots about 2 pounds
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 granulated garlic
Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Get out a rectangular baking dish large enough to hold the carrots in a single layer or line a rimmed baking sheet with baking parchment paper.
- Trim the tops from the carrots. If the carrots are very thick (big around), cut them in half lengthwise.
- Place carrots in the baking dish and toss with the oil, then sprinkle with the salt, pepper and garlic.
- Roast for approximately 40 minutes or until the carrots are tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife. Timing will depend on how thick your carrots are.
- To serve, add dollops of carrot top pesto or a sprinkle of fresh chopped herbs.