You can’t get much more simple, basic and old-fashioned than a pan of roasted vegetables. There is nothing new or particularly inventive about roasted vegetables, but I still think this is a superior method of preparing carrots. The carrots are tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, a pinch of sugar and ground coriander seed. They are roasted in a hot oven, so that the outside bits caramelize while the interior becomes soft and creamy. When they are finished cooking, sprinkle them with fresh thyme blossoms, chopped parsley or cilantro.
There is a huge trend in the food world right now to approach cooking techniques in a new way. Young chefs have a desire to reinvent the wheel when it comes to methods of handling ingredients. Whether it is burgers frozen with liquid nitrogen, olive oil powder or beet foam, the idea that there are new and better ways to “cook” things is very hot right now. I think invention and innovation is great, although I may not particularly want to eat the results, but in our house I’m going to be a stick-in-the-mud, old-fashioned, fuddy duddy and just keep roasting my carrots. Maybe 100 years from now my grandchildren will look back at these recipes with a sweet, condescending nostalgia–”isn’t it sweet how old grandma Rebecca used to roast so many things?” while they foam and quick freeze all their food. Somehow I doubt it. Either way, these carrots speak to me in their simple, delicious way.
|Roasted Spring Carrots with Coriander and Thyme|
- 15 spring carrots, peeled and cut in half
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp olive oil
- pinch sugar
- 1 TBLS fresh chopped thyme
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a large bowl, toss together the carrots, salt, pepper, coriander, olive oil and sugar until the carrots are well coated.
- Lay the carrots out on a sheet pan.
- Cover (with another sheet pan, inverted or with foil) and roast 10 minutes.
- Uncover and roast another 15 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. If the carrots are old or woody, you many need a few extra minutes.
- The carrots are done when they are soft in the middle and have golden parts on the outside.
- If parts of the carrots are starting to get too brown, stir them around a bit.
- When done cooking, sprinkle with fresh thyme blossoms.