We offer a simple, transformative vegetable recipe that hints at spring while using winter’s bounty. The kids and rabbits will adore carrots that when charred exude a salty sweetness. For pesky adults who might not settle for just cooking carrots, we add an herbaceous splash.
The carrot had been like the little brother of vegetables – they’re always around, but rarely do you do something with him. Sure you rely on baby bro for a last minute game of “I Doubt It” when your other vegetables didn’t return your calls and you always want him in the household pot to add necessary flavor to the family soup. But, when was little brother carrot ever really the star? Have you had enough metaphor or are you thirsty for more?
Carrots have grown up. We find them in all sorts of shapes and colors and man, when given a chance and some overdue attention, carrots can be the star of the plate.
We came across this recipe from a newly discovered, but long-standing food blog during the holidays. On a side note, I don’t recommend charred carrots for holidays because of last-minute tending which collides with all the other last-minute feast of burdens – I’m talking to you gravy and carving of turkey. Since then, I’ve found this idea to be a great midweek go-to because it’s efficient to keep ‘charring’ carrots on-hand with their longer-than-most refrigerator life and because they elevate that boring, watch-paint-dry ,chicken dinner, with a gourmet touch.
This recipe includes an herb topping, which we’ve modified into a drizzle (re: more oil), yet retained its fresh herb brightness. You will have leftover herb drizzle that will later pair well with almost anything in your refrigerator or bread basket. Imagine a mint-basil boost on sliced tomatoes (okay tomatoes shouldn’t be in your refrigerator), scrambled eggs, salads, chicken, grilled steak, bruscetta, grilled cheese dip (think french dip sans boef et du jus).
Pick up a bunch of carrots from your market and given them a shining moment at the table tonight. They have lots to offer and are always eager to please. You hear me Buzz?
charred carrots drizzled with herbs
preptime: 15 min. serves 6
3 bunches rainbow carrots, orange, yellow purple, cleaned with with a bit of top remaining
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
For the Basil Mint Topping
1 shallot, roughly chopped
1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves, stems removed (about 4 ounces) 1 cup tightly packed fresh mint leaves, stems removed (about 4 ounces) 1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
In a large cast iron skillet, add a bit of the vegetable oil over high heat.
In batches, add the carrots and cook over high heat until just slightly charred (they should be tender on the outside and have a slight bite in the middle.)
Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes while they are cooking.
Once charred, about 6-7 minutes later, remove them from the cast iron skillet and set aside. Repeat the process with the remaining carrots, adding a bit more oil between batches if needed.
Once all the carrots are charred. Arrange them on a serving platter and top with some of the basil herb mixture. Serve immediately. Save remaining herb sauce for another use
For the Basil Mint Drizzle
Combine all the ingredients for the Basil Mint topping in a high powered blender and blend for 60 seconds until very smooth.