Ah, the simple beauty of a roasted carrot. They’re easy, inexpensive, delicious, and versatile. In this holiday-ready side dish, carrots are tossed in oil, honey, and pepper flakes for a sweet and spicy punch of flavors.
If you celebrate Rosh Hashanah, this would be a great dish to complement the meal. It incorporates honey, an ingredient that is commonly enjoyed for the Jewish holiday because it symbolizes a sweet new year.
Tips for Roasting Carrots
For the best roasted carrots, cut them as uniformly as possible. If some of the carrots are super thick while others are thin, they’re going to cook unevenly.
To make them as close in size as possible, cut them all into roughly 3-inch long pieces. Next, consider halving or even quartering the girthier top-end of the carrots so that they’re similar in size to the slender bottoms. Ultimately, you’re looking for a roughly half-inch diameter.
I like to leave the tops on the carrots because it looks nice and the tops are completely fine to eat. While scrubbing the carrots, I use a small paring knife to gently scrape away any dirt that might be lodged where the tops meet the carrot.
Dress It Up
My favorite part of this dish is the nutty, herby dressing that is prepared while the carrots are roasting. To make this quick, lively topping, simply combine a handful of fresh herbs (parsley and dill are my favorites), toasted hazelnuts (though you could substitute walnuts, almonds, pecans, or even pepitas), a couple of chopped dates for added sweetness, fresh lemon juice, and olive oil.
The easiest way to make any roasted vegetable taste like candy is to make a topping like this and spoon it over the top right after it comes out of the oven.
Make Ahead Tips
This dish is best when served immediately, but if you’re planning to make it ahead of time, you can go ahead and prep and chop the carrots. Keep them tightly sealed in a zip-top bag in the fridge up to 1 day before you plan to cook them. You can also chop up the hazelnuts and dates beforehand, storing them separately.
About 45 minutes before you want to serve the dish, get the carrots in the oven and finish up the rest of the herb topping.
Celebrate Honey’s Natural Sweetness
Honey Roasted Carrots with Dates and Hazelnuts
2 pounds medium carrots, scrubbed and tops trimmed to about 1/2-inch (2 to 3 bunches)
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs (parsley and/or dill)
1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
1/4 cup finely chopped dates (about 6 medium dates)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Prep the carrots:
Cut the carrots on a diagonal into 3-inch pieces. Halve the top pieces lengthwise if they are thick so that all of the carrots are roughly the same thickness.
Dress the carrots and roast:
In a large bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of olive oil with the honey and red pepper flakes (if using). Add the carrots and toss to combine.
Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet, cut-side down when possible. If the pan is crowded, spread the carrots out over 2 sheet pans. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake, tossing the carrots and rotating the pan(s) halfway through, until knife-tender and lightly browned around the edges, 35 to 40 minutes.
Make the topping:
Meanwhile, make the topping. In a medium bowl, combine the fresh herbs, hazelnuts, dates, lemon juice, lemon zest, and the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. Mix and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Plate and serve:
Transfer the carrots to a platter and spoon the herb mixture over the top. Serve immediately.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, keeping the topping and carrots separate if possible.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 18g||23%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||11%|
|Total Carbohydrate 34g||12%|
|Dietary Fiber 6g||21%|
|Total Sugars 25g|
|Vitamin C 11mg||57%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|