I’m gliding into the holiday season with a crazy pace and a bit of anxiety. There seems to be so much to do — holiday cards, lots of cookie backing, meeting up with, and meting up with friends for a cup (or two) of good cheer. I know I’ll nibble a bit too much on holiday fare, so when at home I’m trying to eat “healthy.” I want to eat something that isn’t too heavy but still incredibly satisfying. I turn to roasting vast amounts of vegetables. It’s fast, easy and delicious. One of my favorites is roasted carrots with thyme, a dash of maple syrup and a sprinkle of crumbled feta cheese. The sweetness of the carrots glistening with a hint of syrup works nice with the thyme paired with the cool and slightly salty feta cheese.
I adore any roasted vegetables, especially heirloom carrots. Heirloom carrots are becoming more popular and where you used to only find them during the summer at the farmer’s market, chances are you can now find them at your grocery store sold in loose bunches or already bagged. Taste-wise, both a traditional orange carrot and an heirloom carrot are wonderfully sweet. The big difference is color. Heirloom carrots are a stunning rainbow of jewel-tones. Colors of gorgeous garnet, deep purples, the palest of yellow and vibrant orange. These days I like to pile the beauties into a bowl with brown rice, but of course carrots go with just about anything and everything. These roasted babies would be a lovely bed for a rack of lamb or a crown roast of pork. They go well with a simply grilled steak and fish.
People seem to marvel at roasted veggies, thinking it’s got to be difficult. This is probably one of the easiest things you can do in the kitchen. Just turn the oven up high, toss your veggies into a bowl, coat with a bit of olive oil or butter, salt, pepper and whatever herbs and condiments you like. Spread out on your sheet pan and pop in the oven until just tender. Some of my favorite roasted veggie ideas include: broccoli with red pepper flakes, roasted but still a bit of a crunch; brussels sprouts tossed with a bit of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of marjoram, the result is something sweet n’ savory with a bit of carmelization; butternut squash (available in pre-cut pieces) tossed with brown butter and bread crumbs — the sweet vegetable takes on a new personality.
If there is a vegetable you’ve wanted to try, but haven’t been too sure of what to do with it, try roasting it. Chances are you’ll have a wonderful addition to your meal.
Thyme & Maple Roasted Carrots with Crumbled Feta Cheese
- 1 lb Heirloom Carrots
- 2 tbs Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 - 2 tbs Maple Syrup
- 1 tbs Thyme (dried)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Crumbled Feta Cheese to garnish
Preheat the oven to 400*
If using loose carrots, wash and peel the carrots and remove the tops
Place the carrots on a sheet pan and coat with olive oil and sprinkle in the thyme and add some salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss and spread out in a layer. Drizzle the maple syrup over the top of the carrots.
Roast in the oven until just fork tender and remove. Add some crumbled feta cheese and serve.