As with many vegetables, roasting carrots brings out their sweet inner nature. Peel the carrots or don't peel the carrots—it's up to you. Peeling takes a bit more time, obviously, but also leads to a more consistent final texture to the dish. If the carrots are thin like those pictured, feel free to leave them whole for an extra pretty presentation at the end.
There are some optional flavor additions and garnishes to consider. The easiest way to mix up the flavor of roasted carrots, though, is simply to add other vegetables, particularly root vegetables, to the mix. Carrots are extra tasty when roasted up with parsnips, turnips, and/or rutabagas, all of which have roasting times similar to carrots. A few finely chopped fresh herbs at the end also bring out the best in roasted carrots, as does a sprinkle of espelette or other mild chile powder, crunchy fleur de sel salt, or freshly ground black pepper.
Serve roasted carrots with roasted meats, as part of a vegetable-centric meal, or as a salad alongside any range of dishes.
Preheat an oven to 375 F. Peel the carrots and trim off their ends, if you like; or simply trim their greens as pictured. Cut the carrots in long, even sticks or even, angled cross-section slices. If the carrots are relatively thin, as those pictured here, you can leave them whole—just be sure to check their thicker ends for tenderness at the end.
Put the prepared carrots in a large baking dish. If you want to add a few garlic cloves to roast with the carrots, add them now—peel them or at least move most of their papery peel to make them easier to eat later. This is also the time to add a few sprigs of herbs if you like.
Drizzle the carrots (and whatever you may have added with them) with the oil. Toss to coat the carrot pieces thoroughly. Sprinkle with salt and pop the dish in the preheated oven.
Roast until the carrots are starting to brown on the bottom, about 20 minutes. Stir and continue roasting until the carrots are tender with lovely brown edges, about 20 more minutes.
- Serve the roasted carrots hot, warm, or at room temperature with the garlic and the herbs, if you used them.
- Add a dollop or two of crème fraîche or yogurt to dress things up, and a sprinkle of espelette chile powder or minced fresh herbs, if you're so inclined.
- Room temperature is an option. It's when a dollop of yogurt option really shines, too. You can even drizzle the roasted carrots with dressing and serve them more as a salad.
- Pesto, whether the traditional basil pesto or a modern twist like this spring herb pesto is great on roasted carrots, as is aioli.