Being a Brit at heart, we love our roast potatoes and vegetables. The trend of roasting vegetables seems to be the new fad at the moment, but it is seriously addictive. We always roast our vegetables for our sides, as not only is it one of the easiest things to do but they taste different each time. It all depends on the seasons, the ripeness, quality and the size of the vegetables, but overall it brings out their natural sweetness and the taste is nothing short of amazing. It makes it a whole lot easier for everyone to eat their veggies without complaining and they look fantabulous on the table.
Roasted carrots are one of the best roasted veggies for me (apart from parsnips, cauliflower, beets, brussel sprouts, suede …. yes, I love them all when they are roasted), as their natural sweetness oozes out of the juicy carrots and creates this thin layer of caramelisation that literally cries out for salt and other seasonings. The brown sugar of course helps the caramelisation process a little, and creates the glue for all the flavours to stick onto the carrots when they roast.
Lots of chipotle, fresh garlic and herbs help in incorporating some rich flavour into the carrots and once they are roasted and sizzling hot, a drizzle of honey or maple syrup just seal in all that flavour as well as add this sweet stickiness that begs you not to stop at seconds. As always, the key to enjoying the spiciness is to keep it at a level where you can enjoy the food and its a personal level for everyone. Don’t be afraid of adding it to your food, but just because I used a heaped tablespoon of hot chili powder (hypothetically speaking) doesn’t mean you should. You need to be able to taste the food and enjoy the fresh juiciness of the vegetables.
I went a little wild with the spice blends I brought back home from Texas and New Mexico recently, but this particular batch has been made many times since its original creation. This is a spicy one, so do adjust to your taste.
Chipotle Roasted Carrots
Chipotle and Garlic Roast Carrots with brown sugar & honey
- 4-6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 tsp Chipotle powder
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
- Salt and black pepper
- 3 tbsp brown sugar (I used demarara sugar)
- 10-12 thin Organic whole Carrots
- 1 handful of fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- For garnishing:
- Maple syrup or honey – 3 tbsp
- Fresh cilantro
- Combine everything well on a lightly greased baking sheet.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 375F for 25 minutes. The water will all evaporate during the baking process and it saves the carrots from drying up. If you like them ‘over baked’ and more caramelised, just bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.
- Drizzle some maple syrup or honey on top of the carrots before serving, whilst still hot and a good sprinkling of fresh cilantro leaves.