Who does not love some sweet and salty roasted carrots?
This is the kind of dish that is easy enough for a regular weeknight, but fancy enough to make an appearance at a special dinner. For this recipe I left some of the tops on, but whether you do or not is entirely personal preference.
Rosemary Roasted Carrots
- ~750 g carrots washed, sliced longways if more than a cm wide at the fat end
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 tbsp sweetener honey or maple syrup
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (~350°F)
- Place the carrots evenly in a baking dish
- Add the olive oil, garlic and rosemary leaves (run your finger down the sprig to release the leaves. You may like to keep some aside for an attractive serving decoration. Sprinkle salt over the carrots - flake salt works well if you have it.
- Get your hands in there and make sure the carrots are coated and the rosemary and garlic evenly distributed throughout the dish
- Bake until slightly tender (about 35 minutes), then add the sweetener, stir through the carrots and bake another 10 minutes. The carrots should be very tender and starting to caramelise. You can bake longer if you prefer them even softer and more caramelised or shorted the cook time for a crunchier result.
Let’s talk briefly about the nutrition in this dish! Everyone knows that carrots are supposedly great for eyesight. Why is that? It’s the vitamin A, which is indeed important for the health of your eyes, hence it’s other name, ‘retinol’.
Carrots don’t actually contain ‘vitamin A’, but do have carotenoids, in particular beta-carotene or ‘pro-vitamin A’. Once consumed, beta-carotene is converted to retinal, then retinol through the action of an enzyme known as beta-carotene oxygenase 1 (BCO1). There is some genetic variation in the activity of this enzyme, meaning that some people may either need to eat a lot more beta-carotene than others, or get their vitamin A as retinol, which is the form found in animal products like liver and salmon.
Another interesting feature of beta-carotene is that absorption of it is highly dependant on bile acids, which become available when you eat fat. A dish such as this, with olive oil, provides the fat that helps your body make use of those carotenoids.