Ah, the simple beauty of a roasted carrot. They’re easy, inexpensive, delicious, and versatile. In this holiday-ready side dish, carrots are tossed in oil, honey, and pepper flakes for a sweet and spicy punch of flavors.
If you celebrate Rosh Hashanah, this would be a great dish to complement the meal. It incorporates honey, an ingredient that is commonly enjoyed for the Jewish holiday because it symbolizes a sweet new year.
Tips for Roasting Carrots
For the best roasted carrots, cut them as uniformly as possible. If some of the carrots are super thick while others are thin, they’re going to cook unevenly.
To make them as close in size as possible, cut them all into roughly 3-inch long pieces. Next, consider halving or even quartering the girthier top-end of the carrots so that they’re similar in size to the slender bottoms. Ultimately, you’re looking for a roughly half-inch diameter.
I like to leave the tops on the carrots because it looks nice and the tops are completely fine to eat. While scrubbing the carrots, I use a small paring knife to gently scrape away any dirt that might be lodged where the tops meet the carrot.
Dress It Up
My favorite part of this dish is the nutty, herby dressing that is prepared while the carrots are roasting. To make this quick, lively topping, simply combine a handful of fresh herbs (parsley and dill are my favorites), toasted hazelnuts (though you could substitute walnuts, almonds, pecans, or even pepitas), a couple of chopped dates for added sweetness, fresh lemon juice, and olive oil.
The easiest way to make any roasted vegetable taste like candy is to make a topping like this and spoon it over the top right after it comes out of the oven.
Make Ahead Tips
This dish is best when served immediately, but if you’re planning to make it ahead of time, you can go ahead and prep and chop the carrots. Keep them tightly sealed in a zip-top bag in the fridge up to 1 day before you plan to cook them. You can also chop up the hazelnuts and dates beforehand, storing them separately.
About 45 minutes before you want to serve the dish, get the carrots in the oven and finish up the rest of the herb topping.