For today´s recipe in my River Cottage Veg Everyday series, I chose the "Caramelised carrots with gremolata". This lovely side dish is the thirteenth post in my series. The carrot is a member of the parsley family and is related to the parsnip, celery and fennel. All fabulous vegetables but today the carrot is the star.
Carrots are extremely versatile. They are good for you if you enjoy them raw in a salad for example and they are also good for you when cooked and blended into in a carrot soup or roasted like they are in this recipe today. They are also easy to produce, easy to store and easy to find at your local farmers´ market. And they happen to be my favorite vegetable and the kids favorite vegetable too.
This recipe is extremely easy to make as Hugh Fearnley-Whittigstall so aptly points out “the contrasts of sweet, caramelized carrots and easy gremolata is brilliant – and it looks great too”. The steps to a delicious side dish are but a few. You simply put the carrots in a large roasting dish. Pour over the olive oil, season well with freshly ground pepper and sea salt and stir to coat. Roast for about 30 minutes while covered, than again for about 20 minutes uncovered until the are tender and golden brown in places. Meanwhile, you prepare the gremolata. Roughly chop a bit of garlic (I used one clove of a tender, fresh garlic), add the Italian parsley and lemon zest (organic, of course) to the board, and chop and mix until very fine. As soon as the carrots are roasted, toss with the gremolata with the carrots, so the heat ever-so-slightly takes the edge off the garlic. Add more salt and pepper, if needed, and serve straight away.
What´s not to like about this stunning side-dish – I have used the “first roast, then immediately toss with the gremolata method”, as I have taken to call this way of preparing and serving roasted vegetables, many times since I first saw it in the book. It is a simply fabulous method to add extra taste to your already delicious, naturally sweet roasted vegetables. Believe me, there will be no sharp taste from the garlic.
If you own the English edition of this family friendly vegetable cookbook, you will find the recipe for the “Caramelised carrots with gremolata” on page 355 in the chapter on "Roast, Grill & Barbecue".