Moroccan Roasted Carrots

The holidays are quickly approaching and if you haven't begun to plan your menu - you've at least started to think about it.  Do you host Thanksgiving dinner or take a dish to a friend or family member's house?  Traditional favorites, treasured family dishes that have been passed on from year to year are always heartwarming and eagerly anticipated.  Amazingly, smells evoke cherished memories, and in an instant, take you back to another time or place. Holiday dinners not only bonds us and create new memories but also nourish our soul.

For me,  I'm always evolving our menu to include favorites along with one or two new gems to mix it up a bit.  Carrots are a Thanksgiving staple and being a vegan - the more vegetables on the table the happier I am.   This recipe is a sweet twist with a little bit of smoky heat that provides just a bit of warmth on your palate. This dish also helps to break up all of the heavier food items traditionally served.  The beauty of this recipe is that it can be made ahead and served at room temperature, which alleviates the struggle of timing all dishes to be served hot and just at the right time.  The struggle is real for me every single year. 

Editor's note: delight vegan guests with Robin's Vegan Raw Maple Pie for dessert!

Ingredients:
2-3 lbs of fresh carrots
1/4 cup of maple syrup
4 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1.5 tablespoons of Harissa paste (mild)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne
1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
Salt
Pepper

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and place your rack in the center of the oven.  Spray your baking sheet with a bit of olive oil and set aside.  Trim your carrot tops leaving about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the greens on the top. (You can use the tops of carrots in soups for color and added flavor).  Scrub the carrots with a veggie brush removing all the dirt and leave the ends in tact.

I rinse my carrots with hot water to help loosen the dirt on the surface.

Next, take the garlic, syrup, oil, Harissa, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper and whisk together until blended.

CLay your carrots out in a single file row on your baking sheet and pour your Moroccan spice mixture over the top coating each of the carrots.

Bake for about 15 minutes and rotate the carrots so they char evenly.  Then return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until you can insert a knife into the center of the carrot easily, testing for doneness.  Remove and let cool. Add to your platter, laying each carrot next to each other for a lovely, dramatic plate.  Serve hot or at room temperature.  Enjoy!




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