Get the most interesting assortment of carrots you can find for this exceedingly simple dish: yellow, red, purple, round, fat, skinny. Trim them of most of their greens, but leave a little of the stem intact. You can choose to peel or not to peel—it’s up to you. Some feel the peel has the most essential “carrot-y” flavor, so it’s nice to retain it, but if the carrots are particularly soil-covered, you may find that peeling is the only way to avoid a sandy dish. I often scatter the finished carrots with some good crumbled sheep-milk feta, but only if I’m not saving leftovers to make the soup in the recipe that follows.
Serves 8–10 as a side dish
24–30 carrots of assorted colors and sizes, trimmed and split down the middle (larger ones quartered)
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, mashed to a paste
1 small bunch cilantro, stems minced and leaves reserved
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Aged balsamic vinegar, for serving
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, toss together the carrots, a good glug of olive oil, the cumin, coriander, vinegar, garlic and minced cilantro stems. Season heartily with salt and pepper and arrange on parchment-lined baking sheets. (You might only need one, or you could need three, depending on the size of your carrots.) Roast in the hot oven 30–40 minutes, tossing occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown at the edges.
Arrange on a platter and drizzle with aged vinegar and toss the cilantro leaves on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.
(If you’re not saving the carrots to make soup, try them sprinkled with crumbled feta, toasted pistachios and a teaspoon of nigella seeds.)
Sarah Blackburn is a home cook, recipe developer, vegetable gardener and managing editor of Edible Boston. She can be reached at email@example.com