As with most winter vegetables, roasting carrots will sweeten and intensify their flavor as moisture escapes and they shrink.
Any carrots will do for this dish, but I prefer large storage carrots. Coated first with olive oil, they will caramelize beautifully, along with the whole garlic cloves you also toss in, which will soften in both flavor and texture. I like to add fresh rosemary leaves as well, from a pot I bring indoors for the winter. If you don’t have fresh rosemary, substitute dried thyme. This is a perfect companion to roasted chicken, beef or pork.
• 1 tsp grated nutmeg
• 1 tsp coarse salt
• Generous grating of fresh black pepper
• 10 large carrots
• 8 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole (more if they are small)
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and then preheat a large roasting pan in it for 5 minutes. (The large size will allow you to avoid crowding the pan, which would steam the carrots.) While the pan preheats, mix the nutmeg, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.
2. Scrub the carrots, and then trim the tops, removing any green-tinged parts of the roots. Cut them diagonally into large chunks. In the hot roasting pan, carefully toss the carrots and garlic cloves with the olive oil, making sure to coat all the pieces thoroughly. Sprinkle carrots and garlic with the seasoning mixture and toss again until they are uniformly coated. Put the pan in the oven.
3. After 20 minutes, remove the pan, add the rosemary, and mix everything with a metal spatula, scraping the bottom of the pan to keep the vegetables from sticking.
4. Roast for 25 minutes more and serve.
Want to learn more about cooking with winter vegetables? Read Winter’s Jewels: How to Grow and Cook Beets and Carrots for tips from Barbara Damrosch on growing and preparing more dishes.
Esteemed garden writer Barbara Damrosch farms and writes with her husband, Eliot Coleman, at Four Season Farm in Harborside, Maine. She is the author of The Garden Primer and, with Coleman, of The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook.