Tomorrow on Good Food Evan interviews Molly Stevens about her new book All About Roasting: A New Approach to a Classic Art. Molly tells us how magical vegetables can become when roasted simply in the oven. Keep reading for her take on Orange Roasted Carrots with Gremolata…
Orange-Roasted Carrots with Gremolata
I think I owe carrots an apology. For the longest time I thought of these reliable roots as a kitchen staple but rarely used them for anything more than the base for stews and braises (along with onions and celery, as a part of a classic mirepoix). Sure, I would occasionally munch away on a carrot stick to avoid grabbing a more indulgent snack, but I realized recently that I rarely reached for a bunch of carrots when dreaming up a vegetables side dish for dinner. That’s all changed now that I’ve discovered how good carrots can be when sliced into thick rounds and roasted in a hot oven until tender and caramelized. To bring out their inherent sweetness, I drizzle a little reduced orange juice over them near the end of roasting and then shower them with a zingy gremolata made from orange zest, parsley, and shallots. (See page 168 for a photo of the finished dish.)
The recipe is written for those who like to multitask in the kitchen: You reduce the orange juice and make the gremolata as the carrots roast. If you prefer to get ahead or have other things that need your attention (homework or the main course, or both), by all means prepare the juice and gremolata in advance. They can keep for several hours at room temperature. Serve these with roast pork or beef, or make it part of a multidish vegetarian feast.
Method: High heat
Roasting time: 40 to 50 minutes
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium navel orange
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 scant teaspoon honey
Heat the oven. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400 degrees (375 degrees convection). If desired, line a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roast. Pile the carrots in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil, season with red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and toss to coat. Transfer to the baking sheet in a single layer and roast, stirring every 15 to 20 minutes and then shaking the pan to restore an even layer so they cook evenly, until tender and starting to brown, 30 to 40 minutes. (The fresher the carrots, the more quickly they will cook.)
Meanwhile, make the gremolata and glaze. Zest enough of the orange (preferably with a microplane) to get 1 teaspoon orange zest. Put the zest in
a small bowl and stir in the parsley and shallots. Season with a good pinch of salt.
Squeeze the juice of the orange into a very small saucepan (you should have 1⁄3 to 1/2 cup). Add the honey and simmer over medium heat until reduced by about half,
6 to 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the juice so it doesn’t scorch. Set aside.
Glaze and serve. When the carrots are tender and beginning to brown, pour the reduced orange-juice-and-honey mixture over them and toss to coat. Continue roasting until the carrots are deeply browned in spots (being careful not to scorch the orange glaze), another 5 to 10 minutes or so. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the gremolata over the top. Serve immediately.