18 October 2008
Roasted Moroccan Carrots
I have always liked carrots. When I was a girl I ate them raw for a crunchy snack. When I was a teen I discovered that they were packed with nutrition and low in calories and I liked them even more. Even now I keep a package of baby carrots in the refrigerator to munch on in the afternoon for a quick and healthy snack.
Unfortunately the rest of my family does not share my fondness for this bright and attractive vegetable. Most of the time they will eat them but without enthusiasm. At other times when carrots are on the dinner menu they will voice their objections. Still, I persist in serving them.
Perhaps the problem is that since I love carrots raw and unadorned I don't usually give much thought to dressing them up. Most of the time I simply steam them, saute them gently in butter and brown sugar or throw them into a stir fry. I don't often notice new recipes featuring carrots and maybe I never really looked for them either.
But recently I have begun to discover how delicious roasted vegetables can be. When roasted a vegetable sometimes reveals a flavor you wouldn't otherwise anticipate. Roasted red peppers take on a deep rich sweetness and cauliflower exerts a wonderful nutty flavor when roasted. I wondered if carrots might reveal some special attributes when roasted too.
So I searched for a recipe and found one that sounded interesting at The Spice House. It mixed a little sugar and lemon with the full spicy flavors of cumin, red pepper and hot sweet cinnamon. It sounded amazing.
I decided to give the recipe a try. The only changes I made were to lower the amount of oil in the original recipe and to use crushed fresh garlic instead of garlic powder. The result was delightful! While the carrots were roasting the fragrant spices filled the kitchen with their warm inviting scent. By the time the carrots were done everyone who had been through the kitchen was eager to try them. And the reviews were good. The surprisingly bright yet spicy flavor combination enhanced the earthy simplicity of this nutritious root vegetable while adding some sparkle. Still the recipe remained relatively low in sugar and fat, and what's more, it was easy to prepare. I will definitely make this again, and I think my family will be glad!
Moraccan Spiced Carrots
(Slightly modified from a recipe at www.thespicehouse.com)
1 lb. carrots cut in 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices on the diagonal
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground
1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Place carrot slices in a 1 gallon Ziploc bag.
Place remaining ingredients in a small bowl, whisking until well combined.
Pour the spice mixture over the carrots in the Ziploc bag. Seal the bag and shake vigorously until the carrot slices are evenly coated.
Spread the carrots evenly on a roasting pan. Roast at 450 degrees, turning often, until tender, approximately 20 minutes.
Note: These can be cooked for a longer time at a lower oven temperature if desired. Turn the carrots periodically and remove from the oven when tender.