Thursday, November 14, 2013

Digging for Carrots (& Roasting Them)


 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! 

22 comments:

  1. We love roasted veggies too, as well as grilled veggies. So good!
    Your daughter is so cute! Sounds like the perfect life.
    Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I hope you will visit again. I know I'll be back to see you. Blessings!

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  2. Rosetta is adorable in her precious outfit :), and I love the different shapes of the carrots, they look delicious roasted! Years ago, we ate at a cafeteria style restaurant in Virginia that served Carrot Souffle and it was so good! That would be a wonderful side dish for Thanksgiving dinner. On another note, I can't wait to see your kitchen reveal!

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  3. I love a giant pan ofmroasted veggies! And that reminds me that I need to visit my community garden plat and snag a couple carrots.

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  4. Mmmm, those look so fresh and yummy! My favorite way to cook carrots is with potatoes and a little bit of onion wrapped up in foil packets and put on the grill :)

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  5. That looks so good... all of it! Thanks for the gentle reminder that the easiest things are quite often the best things.

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  6. That looks so good... all of it! Thanks for the gentle reminder that the easiest things are quite often the best things.

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  7. Fresh eggs and garden grown carrots for your growing daughters. The best. Looking forward to your kitchen reveal. Kathleen

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  8. Looks delicious! You make me want to try to grow some carrots!

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  9. Your carrots look delicious! It is funny that you mention knowing where your food comes from. When we started our garden years ago, my sister in law had know clue how potatoes grew. She thought that they grew on a bush, lol. She even admitted that she had no clue where half of the food that she eats comes from. Isn't is a great feeling being able to go to your garden to get food for your dinner?

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  10. I know this probably seems like something everyone knows how to do--but I don't! I love seeing your home, but it is your cooking posts that I most appreciate and return to. (We had your chicken and dumplings just last weekend.) Now I'm looking forward to roasting some veggies. Thank you!

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  11. Gorgeous carrots! I had to laugh at your comment about when you pulled your first carrot out of the ground and just stared at it…that was my same experience. Soooo, my question is…how do they get the store carrots to look like they do…*wink*!

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  12. You know - I have never tried roasting carrots. Broccoli, potatoes (of course!) and asparagus.. even zucchini.

    Something else to add "to my plate". (wink!)

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  13. Oh, I am so glad you posted this! I make your roasted potato recipe often and now I will give this a try. Carrots did so well in our garden this year I hope to plant even more. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Beautiful photos …..mouth watering roasted veggies !!!!

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  15. I had tried roasting beets a couple of weeks ago without good results. Thanks to your post, I decided to try again, with far better luck this time. Previously, I had read there was no need to cut up the veggies so I tried roasting the beets whole. They baked and baked, and never did get tender. This time, I used beets, kohlrabi, white radish, carrot and onion. I chopped everything, drizzled it all with a bit of olive oil and then sprinkled with salt and pepper and hoped for the best. They turned out wonderful! My husband said they'd make a good Thanksgiving dish.

    Thanks for giving me the courage to try again, with far better results this time! I think this may become a new favorite.

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  16. Thanks for this post Andrea. Will make them in Thanksgiving. They look so lovely.
    xoxo
    Lisa
    Leeshideaway.blogspot.com

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  17. Oh little Rosetta, she is too cute. I have never grown carrots and the only time I have roasted them was always with a pot roast. They are always so good in my soups and stews too, but they are definately sweeter when roasted. I will have to try roasting some seperately, as you shown. Oh, I am getting hungry and am so into hearty meals now. Oh fall and comfort food. Yum.

    Debra














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  18. looks wonderful.....love your photo's ~

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  19. Okay, now I know what veggie I am going to have with my next meal. Thanks for the idea. I do roast, but haven't tried the carrots. Great idea. Thanks :-)

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  20. Okay, now I know what veggie I am going to have with my next meal. Thanks for the idea. I do roast, but haven't tried the carrots. Great idea. Thanks :-)

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  21. This seems like a super easy way to make a healthy side dish. I think I will try carrots onions and potatoes next time I make a roast!

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  22. The carrots look delicious! Thanks for letting us know how you roast them. I cannot wait to have a garden (hopefully next year)! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Andrea. ~ Jamie

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