The sweetness and earthiness of carrots get a boost when they are roasted at high heat. Here we take toothy chunks of carrots, parboil them, fast-roast them in the oven with allspice, and finish them off with a garnish of minced preserved lemon and fresh garlic. Wait until a dish is fully cooked before adding a decisive seasoning like preserved lemon—it’s hard to go back.
Cook to Cook: Roasted carrots shrink shockingly, so while the raw pile may seem enormous, rest assured that they will shrink into a manageable stack on a platter.
If preserved lemon isn’t to be had, plain grated lemon zest can be used. It’s not the same, but the dish will still be delicious.
Best eaten the same day they are cooked, but can be served at room temperature
1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
2. Bring a 6-quart pot of salted water to a boil and cook the carrots until they are nearly fork-tender, but still with some firmness, about 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
3. On a large half-sheet pan, toss the carrots with enough olive oil to coat them generously, then toss them with the allspice, salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes until nicely seared and browned here and there, shaking and turning often.
4. Remove the pan from the oven and while the carrots are still in it, add the garlic and lemon (preserved or zest), tossing to combine. Season to taste and serve.
Roasted Pears, Carrots, and Sprouts with Country Bacon: Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Instead of 2 pounds carrots, use 1 pound cut as instructed; 1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved; 1 medium onion, cut in thin wedges; and 2 Bosc pears, cored and cut into sixths. Toss with olive oil, 6 branches of fresh thyme, 12 large fresh sage leaves, and 2 to 3 slices good bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning often, until the vegetables are browned and tender.
Hot and Sour Roasted Carrots: Follow the recipe as written. Season the carrots halfway through, cooking with ground hot chile or smoked hot Spanish paprika. Instead of sprinkling the cooked carrots with the preserved lemon, sprinkle them with sherry or cider vinegar.
Lynne Rossetto Kasper has won numerous awards as host of The Splendid Table, including two James Beard Foundation Awards (1998, 2008) for Best National Radio Show on Food, five Clarion Awards (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014) from Women in Communication, and a Gracie Allen Award in 2000 for Best Syndicated Talk Show.
Sally Swift is the managing producer and co-creator of The Splendid Table. Before developing the show, she worked in film, video and television, including stints at Twin Cities Public Television, Paisley Park, and Comic Relief with Billy Crystal. She also survived a stint as segment producer on The Jenny Jones Show.