Cooking whole carrots takes just a tiny bit of preparation (just peel and go!), But they take longer to cook than smaller chopped carrots, especially on their thicker ends.
If you’re roasting whole carrots without a lid, the dry heat in your oven will make the outside of the carrots dry and leathery before the inside is tender and cooked through. In addition, the spices on the outside of the carrots burn and taste bitter. The solution? A two-stage cooking technique.
Step 1: steam
Carrots contain a lot of water. When the carrots heat up in the oven, some of this water turns into steam. Covering the baking sheet tightly with foil locks in the steam and moist heat so the carrots cook evenly – and not dry out.
Step 2: brown
Removing the aluminum foil after 15 minutes lets the steam escape and dries the carrots out a little on the outside. As soon as the surface of the carrots is dry, it begins to turn golden brown in the hot oven, creating a lot of new (delicious!) Taste molecules.
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Makes: 4 servings
1 1/2 pounds of medium sized carrots with tops
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh carrot tops, coriander, mint or parsley (optional)
1. Set the oven shelf to the middle position and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Cut off the green tips of carrots and allow about 1 inch of green to adhere; Set greens aside and save for garnish or other use. Peel the carrots and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
3. In a small bowl, mix the oil, salt, paprika, pepper, cinnamon, garlic powder and cayenne pepper (if used) together. Stir the mixture until combined.
4. Drizzle the oil mixture over the carrots. Use your hands to toss and rub carrots until they are evenly covered. Spread the carrots evenly on the baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet tightly with aluminum foil.
5. Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling shelf. Remove foil. Use tongs to flip carrots.
6. Put the baking sheet back in the oven and continue frying, uncovered, until the thick ends of the carrots are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Place the baking sheet on a cooling rack and let the carrots cool for 5 minutes.
7. Transfer carrots to a serving platter. Sprinkle with chopped carrot tips or herbs (if used). Surcharge.