One of my favorite things to grow in the garden is carrots. Once the seeds are sown you essentially don't have to give the carrots another thought. The carrots keep so well in the dirt... just as nature intended. I don't ever worry about harvesting them all at once... I just grab a few here and there as I need them for cooking.
But this afternoon was warmer than it has been and Rosetta and I decided it would be a perfect time to get out and dig up several of the carrots for our supper.
Although somebody kept getting distracted by feeding and playing with the chickens (smile).
The first year we grew carrots and I pulled one out of the ground, I stared at it for a long time wondering why it didn't look like the carrots you buy at the grocery store. Pretty they may not be, but they do taste wonderful and so fresh.
These small round carrots are supposed to look like this, believe it or not. The (heirloom) seed company included a free packet and I believe they are called Parisienne carrots.
My very favorite way to eat vegetables, particularly in the fall and winter, is by roasting them in the oven. You likely may already roast your vegetables, but I only learned how to roast vegetables in the past few years and I certainly consider it one of the easiest and most delicious ways to cook veggies. We rarely have any remaining after the meal!
In the case of carrots, I've roasted them whole, but I actually prefer chopped. You may prefer yours cut differently, but I like the way they evenly cook and get very tender when they are chopped.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Once the vegetables are cut, I put them in a pan or a baking dish. I like them to lay in a single layer so that they all cook evenly. In this case, I put the carrots in a 9x18 baking dish. Then I simply coat the veggies in extra virgin olive oil (for the carrots I used about 3 Tbsp) and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and some fresh or dried herbs. Sometimes I'll experiment with different flavors, but for the most part I just use those few simple ingredients. Then I put the vegetables in the oven and roast until they are finished. You will know how you like them... whether it's a little crisp or plenty tender and even a little browned (like us). I cooked these carrots for about 45 minutes, but I keep an eye on them and stir about every 15 minutes.
The carrots from our garden taste a little different than store-bought as well... the flavor is much stronger and even a little earthy. The carrots are a wonderful late fall garden treat and I love the fact that my girls (and even myself) are learning a little of where our food comes from.
P.S. When roasting vegetables, I typically use more than just one veggie... usually it's a process of gathering what I have and combining everything. Onions, squash, potatoes, carrots, green beans, okra... use what you have and it will be a perfect side dish no matter the occasion!