This Monday, as part of my adventures in ethical eating, I went shopping at Homegrown Food, a local and organic food store here in Springfield, MO. I was enamored by the produce section, full of organic, unique fruit and vegetables. I’m big on color, so I was immediately drawn to the heirloom, or rainbow, carrots. Can you blame me? Look at how pretty they are!
(The purple ones reminded me so much of Gobstopper candy! Do you see it?)
I wasn’t initially sure what to do with them – I’d never had heirloom carrots before, and pretty much the only way I eat carrots is raw, maybe dipped in hummus. My first instinct with vegetables is to roast them, and a quick Google search proved that most people did that too.
This is barely a recipe; it’s so simple that I feel ridiculous posting it. But I liked it so much that I had to share it. My main beef with cooked carrots is that they usually turn out mushy and flavorless, but not these. The carrots, sliced in half length-wise, get crispy and caramelized in the oven, and the flavor is something entirely different from raw carrots. A balsamic vinegar reduction add an acidic, savory counterpart to the sweetness of the carrots and together it is brilliant.
It was a little bit reminiscent of fries to me, and I think it would be great alongside a burger, sandwich, or anything you would serve fries with. I ate it with pasta, and that was good too. I think you probably can’t go wrong.
Honey Roasted Heirloom Carrots with Balsamic Reduction
Note: You can use standard carrots if you wish, but buy whole ones with the tops still attached for optimal flavor.
1 bunch heirloom, also known as rainbow, carrots (I had twelve of varying sizes in my bunch)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
Drizzle of honey
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 400˚.
Wash and peel the carrots, and slice in half length-wise. Toss on a baking pan with olive oil and salt, then drizzle a bit of honey over it and stir until lightly coated. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, stirring every ten minutes.
While the carrots are roasting, put the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and cook on high until boiling, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until reduced in half, or is your desired thickness. I wanted a syrupy texture, so I cooked it for 18 minutes past the boiling point.
To serve, drizzle the balsamic reduction over your carrots and eat up!