I could eat some type of roasted vegetable daily as something magical happens to them during the roasting process. The natural sugar within the vegetable caramelizes, creating an earthy sweetness that is delicious. I honestly do not eat many carrots, but if I roast them as I do in this recipe, I could eat an entire plate full. Carrots, in particular, benefit from roasting, and whether you eat them as a side dish or as a salad like this one, once you’ve roasted carrots, you too will not want to eat them any other way!
I used rainbow-colored carrots, and paired them with a mix of blood orange and regular orange slices, although you could use regular carrots and oranges if you prefer. Rainbow carrots do not taste any different but are very attractive arranged on a plate.
I first roast my carrots, then toss them in a little maple syrup just before they are finished cooking. After placing orange slices on a platter, I toss the carrots with fresh thyme leaves, slivers of fresh basil leaves, and spoon them on top of the oranges. I mix a light vinaigrette of orange juice, white balsamic, and olive oil and spoon this over the carrots and oranges.
To finish the dish off, shaved Grana Padano, and lightly toasted chopped walnuts are scattered on top just before serving. I arranged my salad on a light layer of baby arugula, but that is optional.
I cut my carrots into quarters lengthwise, and then cut into 3 to 4-inch spears to shorten the roasting time. I find that the easiest way to shave the cheese is to use a vegetable peeler. This dish is an excellent option for lunch or as a starter or side dish for an elegant dinner.
This dish is best served soon after preparing at room temperature. Although leftovers will taste great, the carrots tend to wrinkle if left sitting too long and are therefore not as attractive.
- 2 Pounds Carrots
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 4 Oranges (See Notes Above) I Used Two Regular Oranges & Two Blood Oranges
- 2 Teaspoons Fresh Thyme Leaves
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil Leaves, Cut Into Thin Strips
- 2 Ounces Grana Padano Cheese, Shaved Thinly
- 1/3 Cup Lightly Toasted Chopped Walnuts
- 3 Cups Baby Arugula Leaves (Optional)
- 2 Tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Blood Orange Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
- 5 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Peel the carrots and then cut lengthwise into four.
- Cut the carrots into 3 to 4 inch lengths.
- Toss the carrots with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Spread the carrots evenly over the baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes.
- Use a spatula to turn the carrots and then drizzle the syrup over them.
- Continue to roast until fork tender, about 10 minutes longer, depending on thickness.
- While the carrots are roasting, prepare the oranges.
- Using a sharp knife, cut both ends off each orange, and then placing one end on a cutting board, cut the peel and pith off completely.
- Cut the peeled oranges into 1/4-inch slices, removing any seeds.
- Arrange the slices attractively on a platter on top of the arugula if using.
- Once the carrots have cooled, toss them with the thyme and basil and then spoon on top of the orange slices.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients and drizzle over the carrots.
- Scatter the cheese shavings and walnuts over the carrots, serve, and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 577Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 30gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 377mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 12gSugar: 33gProtein: 9g