Yield
Serves 4 to 6
Time
10 minutes prep, 20 to 30 minutes cooking, 30 minutes total

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

  • Salt        
  • 3 pounds carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal into 2-inch chunks 
  • About 3 tablespoons good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon freshly ground allspice
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced 
  • Peel of 2/3 to 1 whole preserved lemon, inside pulp removed and discarded, the peel rinsed under cold water and finely minced, or shredded peel of 1 medium lemon

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.  

Variations

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.

From The Splendid Table®'s How to Eat Weekends by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift (Clarkson Potter, 2011), © copyright 2011 American Public Media.