It’s been a rather productive fall for us, which may have a lot to do with the lack of snow. November provided few flakes for the ski resorts and the backcountry. But the high, dry winds delivered some outstanding sunsets and sunrises. Rather than gripe (too much) about the delay in the ski season, I redirected my energies to those long-neglected tasks in dire need of attention. As a small reward for getting so much done this autumn, I signed up for an online bookbinding class and learned how to transform fabric into bookcloth.
stacked lenticulars are so otherworldly
a feather dance at sunset
my two notebooks from class
Many Colorado ski hills open Thanksgiving week, even if it is a single run of man-made snow. We opted not to ski opening day at either of our local resorts and instead headed to the backcountry for a quiet ski tour. It happened to be the right decision because we were greeted with fresh snow and free refills all day. Yuki had a tummy bug the whole week, so we kept her on a mild diet and low activity. Jeremy snuck Neva out for bike rides to get her some exercise and wear down her rake-claws. It was a pleasant and low-key holiday week for our house. Well, not as pleasant as Yuki would have liked, but after a week of sad puppy eyes she’s back to normal and had a wonderful romp around the soccer field with some doggie friends this weekend.
real snow in the snow globe
neva wouldn’t budge, so yuki accepted sharing the bed
Now that Thanksgiving has passed, Holiday Madness Mode begins. There is nothing like holiday food to make me crave vegetables. The carrot is the one vegetable I often forget I love. We regularly buy carrots (adult, not baby) for raw snacking. And then a few times each winter I make roasted carrot soup. I will find myself noshing on several cubes of the sweet roasted carrots before the rest go into the stock pot and make some vague mental note that these are super addictive. I’m ashamed it has taken me this long to make roasted carrots as a dish unto itself, but I’m also glad I finally did it.
olive oil, pepper, mint, carrots, thyme, cumin seeds, chile powder, salt, turmeric, coriander seeds
The recipe comes from The New York Times Cooking archives and the only change I made was to omit the butter. I’ve cooked this successfully with both ground spices (cumin and coriander) and seeds (cumin and coriander), although I do prefer the seeds version. And while it is great without the mint, I think the mint lends a bright herbal finish. The preparation is simple and requires little effort for the payoff.
toss cut carrots with olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme
spread on a hot baking sheet
While the carrots roast, mix your spices together in the bowl you used to toss the carrots. Because these carrots are so unexpectedly tasty and because there is considerable shrinkage during roasting, the general consensus is to double the recipe so you aren’t caught flat-footed.
grinding the toasted cumin and coriander seeds
mix the spices together
Keep an eye on your carrots as roasting time will be affected by the thickness of the slices and the enthusiasm of your oven. Mine went the full 25 minutes to maximize caramelization and tenderness. Once out of the oven, toss the carrots with your spices and the mint.
toss with spices and herbs
I sometimes wonder how many people who shun vegetables would feel otherwise if they had grown up eating vegetables that were prepared with love and respect. These carrots practically taste like candy, their natural sweetness enhanced by roasting. And you’ll appreciate the warming spices during the cooler months. It’s naturally vegan, gluten-free, diary-free, healthy, and delicious. The carrot is the reward.
serve hot or room temperature
finished with mint and flake sea salt
10 medium carrots, peeled
2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds, lightly toasted*
1/2 tsp coriander seeds, lightly toasted**
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp mild chile powder (Aleppo in original recipe)
2 tbsps fresh mint, chopped
flake sea salt for garnish
* Can substitute 1/2 tsp ground cumin for the cumin seeds.
** Can substitute 1/2 tsp ground coriander for the coriander seeds.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut carrots in half (about 3-4 inches long), then cut those pieces in half lengthwise. You can cut the fat pieces lengthwise into quarters for more even thickness. Toss the carrots in a large bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme. Heat your baking sheet in the oven for 3-4 minutes. When you are ready to roast your carrots, remove the pan from the oven and spread the carrots into a single layer on the sheet (I lined my sheet with parchment paper and then arranged the carrots). Reserve your bowl. Roast for 20-25 minutes (25 minutes for me), stirring the carrots and spreading them back into a single layer every 10 minutes. They are done when slightly caramelized and fork tender.
While the carrots roast, grind the cumin and coriander seeds with a mortar and pestle. Combine the ground cumin and coriander with the turmeric and chile. When the carrots are just out of the oven, toss them with the spices and 3/4 of the mint in the same large mixing bowl. [NOTE: If using pre-ground cumin and coriander, toss the roasted carrots with the spices, spread on the baking sheet, and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. When you take them out of the oven, toss with 3/4 of the mint.] Garnish with the remaining mint and flake sea salt. Serves 4-6.
more goodness from the use real butter archives
|roasted carrot soup
|fried polenta and porcini on roasted carrot purée
|vietnamese pickled vegetables
|cottage pie with beef and carrots