It’s not too often I’m excited about vegetables, but that’s definitely not the case with these Honey, Balsamic & Orange Roasted Carrots!
Ooh yeah… I’ve hit on a winner with these babies! It’s all thanks to the liquid they’re doused in as they roast – a combination of honey and balsamic vinegar, as well as zesty orange zest and juice. This liquid thickens and caramelizes as it cooks, creating a rich, sweet and sour glaze that heightens the natural sweetness of the carrots. The walnuts – something I threw in at the last minute – provide a wonderful crunchy element to the dish and, as you can imagine, toast and caramelize along with the carrots. Yum!
This is the perfect side for your Sunday roast or Thanksgiving dinner (for those of you in the States). Of course, you don’t need to wait for a special occasion – just pair them with a couple of other vegetable sides (and some meat or fish if you’re not vegetarian) and you’ve got a lovely week-night meal.
And, just a note about quantities. Use the recipe as a guide – it’s not hard and fast. I suggest you taste the roasting liquid as you’re making it, and adjust as needed – for instance, I added an extra tablespoon of balsamic vinegar because I love the extra tartness.
I’m sure you’re gonna love them. Enjoy!
- About 500g (17.6 oz) carrots (I used orange and purple carrots)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon runny honey
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon each orange juice and orange zest
- Handful of halved walnuts
- Coarse sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- Some fresh herbs, e.g. mint, thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley
- Preheat the oven to 200C (400F).
- Scrub the carrots to clean (they retain more of their minerals if you scrub rather than peel).
- Place the carrots into a small roasting pan (you may like to line the pan with foil, though I didn't).
- Combine the olive oil, honey, balsamic vinegar, orange juice and orange zest in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add walnuts and stir to combine.
- Pour the liquid and walnuts over the carrots, then generously season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine.
- Bake for about 30 minutes (or more, depending on the size of the carrots - mine took closer to an hour). At least once through cooking, toss the carrots in the liquid to prevent them drying out. Take out of oven when the carrots are fork-tender and caramelized. Scatter over the herbs and serve.
If walnuts are not for you, try flaked almonds instead. Or, you could sprinkle over some sesame seeds once the carrots have nearly finished cooking.
You can use maple syrup instead of runny honey.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC ‘Art’ lens / Continuous fluorescent lighting softbox