An unusual jar of honey and a ripping hot sheet pan were the keys to remaking what too often can be a forgettable side dish — roasted carrots.
First, the honey. We’ve seen our fair share of infused varieties, everything from ginger and saffron to lavender and matcha green tea. Most haven’t impressed, but in Mumbai, India, we discovered turmeric-infused honey.
We loved drizzling the honey over roasted cauliflower and suspected its rich, earthy flavours would work equally well with carrots.
It did, such as in this recipe from our book COOKish, which limits recipes to just six ingredients without sacrificing flavour.
We get the most flavour out of the carrots with a very hot oven — 500?F, in fact. For even richer caramelisation, we first heat the baking sheet in the oven before adding the carrots.
It is essential to add the honey only after the carrots are roasted; the high heat would burn the sugar.
But this also gave us an opportunity to warm the honey on the stovetop, better infusing it with turmeric and another common Indian seasoning, whole cumin seeds.
To keep all that richness in check, we finish the dish with a sprinkle of lime zest and juice, adding bright acidity that balances the sweetness.
Roasted Carrots with Turmeric-Honey
Start to finish: 35 minutes
3 lbs medium carrots, peeled and halved on the diagonal
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp cumin seeds OR coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
Heat the oven to 500?F with a rimmed baking sheet on an oven rack. In a bowl, drizzle the carrots with oil, then season with salt and pepper; toss well. Transfer to the hot baking sheet and roast until browned in spots and just tender, about 20 minutes. In a small saucepan, bring the honey, cumin and turmeric to a simmer, stirring. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm. Serve the carrots drizzled with honey and sprinkled with lime zest and juice.
By Christopher Kimball