baby carrots, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, thyme sprigs, kale flowers, sea salt
I bought a sack of tiny carrots today at the farmers market just because of how they looked. They were not your average stick straight roots, but funny finger sized squiggles with knuckles, knobs and twists – think samba dancing semicolons. New and sweet, these little babies were the first of Spring, demanding the simplest of preparation. I decided to match their sweetness with a sprinkle of sugar, salt and splash of balsamic vinegar. A quick roast in the oven, softened them to crisp tenderness, shellacking the vinegar in a shiny caramelized coat. What you see is a mere half of my bounty, since I couldn’t stop nibbling the rest while taking the picture.
Balsamic Roasted Carrots
Try to select organic carrots, which will save you the fussy step of peeling.
Serves 4 to 6.
2 pounds organic skinny carrots, washed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Small bunch of fresh thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
Sea salt flakes
Heat oven to 400° F. Trim the ends of the carrots. Place in a large bowl. Add oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Pour onto a rimmed baking sheet. Scatter the thyme sprigs over the carrots. Roast on the middle rack of oven until carrots are crisp tender, 8 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness of carrots.
Remove carrots from oven. Turn on the broiler. Drizzle the carrots with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with sugar, and jiggle the carrots around to coat. Return to top rack in oven. Broil until slightly caramelized and golden, 1 to 2 minutes, shaking pan once or twice. Serve warm sprinkled with sea salt flakes.