What to Cook Now

Steam-Roasted Carrots with Cumin

By • February 19, 2014 • 18 Comments

If you're like us, you look to the seasons for what to cook. Get to the market, and we'll show you what to do with your haul.

Today: The sexiest carrots you'll ever make, and a new method for all of your carrots henceforth.

Roasted Carrots from Food52

Carrots and I, we were long-term -- we'd moved in, settled down. Slowly at first, but then every night, we'd started sitting on the couch together silently: a little complacent, a lot the same. We were comfortable, but a little drab. 

I needed something more, something new; and I found it in April Bloomfield's A Girl and Her Pig.

I know you know how to roast a carrot. (If you've ever met a carrot, you know how to roast a carrot.) Wash carrot -- or don't if no one's watching -- apply oil, season, introduce to hot oven. So why do you need another method?

Because this one is better. It's going to spice things up, and put a twinkle in your eye. And because, dissenters, you're missing a step. The secret ingredient to your roasted carrots, it turns out, is water. 

Roasted Carrots from Food52

April steam-roasts her carrots, and now that I do too, I'm not sure I'll ever go back. They come out of the oven soft but not falling apart, caramelized, and perfectly yielding, much like the avocado she pairs them with in this salad. (You don't need the avocado and orange and bells and whistles for this to be good, but add them if you wish. No one will be mad.) 

Open your fridge. Reach deep into the dark, neglected crisper, and pull out your carrots. (Every empty fridge still has them; to have nothing is to have carrots. Also celery, but I'll let Kristen field that one.) Are they a little floppy? Banged up? All the better -- the transformation will be even more ugly-duckling-to-swan.

Scrub them (I'm watching), and plunk them into a bowlful of oil and spices and garlic. Mix them thoroughly -- you'd be wise to use your hands here -- and salt them thoroughly. Tumble them into a baking dish, and make certain every last bit of laced oil follows them, like sheep off a ledge. 

Add your water now. Bake. You have roughly 50 minutes until your relationship with carrots changes forever. At this point, I'd ready yourself -- it's going to be a wild night.  

Roasted Carrots from Food52

Steam-Roasted Carrots with Cumin

Adapted from April Bloomfield's Carrot, Avocado, and Orange Salad 

Serves 4

4 medium garlic cloves, minced
Flaky sea salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander 
1/8 teaspoon red chile flakes, or more to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
30 or so young carrots, scrubbed and left unpeeled (1 pound)
1/4 cup water
A handful of small, delicate cilantro sprigs

See the full recipe (and save it and print it) here. 

Photos by Eric Moran

Jump to Comments (18)

Tags: what to cook now, carrots, roasted carrots, recipe

Comments (18)

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4 months ago Fragon

Fabulous. Have used this method to steam roast mixed veggies several times over the last few weeks. Carrots, rutabaga, potato, onion....with different spice and herb combos. No scorching, just super delicious. Thanks!

Stringio

5 months ago Carter Clough

Kenzi - with the way you write I would attempt to try anything you suggest! Gonna get me some carrots tomorrow!

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5 months ago Jenna @ DeliciousDaydreams.com

I have so many baby carrots that come out of my garden! While I love to just munch them or use them in salads or stuffing, I am definitely looking for something else to do. Fantastically yummy!!!

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5 months ago LauriL

Never thought I would be yumming and laughing at the same time ...about carrots no less! Thank you Oh Funny Ones. You and the carrots know who you are!! February (a bleak and ugly one for SAD suffers, is a month where we look for foods that make our spirits rise up out of the mud covered snow banks. This one did it for me!!

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5 months ago Karen Terry

So I am lucky enough to have recently put in a combi steam convection oven in my kitchen. I suppose I could just put this on steam convection and roast away. Think that at a certain point, I would shut off the steam Kenzi?

Me

5 months ago Kenzi Wilbur

Kenzi is the Managing Editor of Food52.

I've never used one, but sounds like I would -- with these, you take off the foil midway through roasting so the carrots are able to get some color. Let us know if you try it!

Miglore

5 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Sometimes I slosh water on my baking sheet of carrots as they roast to keep them from burning. I am dying to try this smarter version. It looks so good!

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5 months ago Marian Bull

Marian is Food52's Associate Editor.

When I heard about this recipe I didn't understand it and couldn't believe it and now I can't wait to make it.

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5 months ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Marian - the April version with avocado and orange is pretty fantastic too ... all hail April!

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5 months ago Marian Bull

Marian is Food52's Associate Editor.

Preach!! She's my idol. Have you seen those photos of her making + eating a Caesar salad?

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5 months ago Marian Bull

Marian is Food52's Associate Editor.

Also one time my mom called her "ballzy [sic], just like us!"

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5 months ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oh yeah - hmm, in fact maybe I need to make that salad for Saturday's cooking in Texas for a Brit friend - Apropos, no? Ballzy :-)

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5 months ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I love April. The month one and The Bloomfield one.

Me

5 months ago Kenzi Wilbur

Kenzi is the Managing Editor of Food52.

Right there with you. (It's my birth month, so I'm a little biased...)

Afterlight

5 months ago Joy Belamarich

THAT IS ME ( glancing around the kitchen quickly, then skipping the washing part).

Me

5 months ago Kenzi Wilbur

Kenzi is the Managing Editor of Food52.

I seeee you.

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5 months ago Catherine Lamb

Catherine is the Community Manager at Food52.

Do carrots know you're writing about your relationship on such a public platform?

Me

5 months ago Kenzi Wilbur

Kenzi is the Managing Editor of Food52.

Carrots and I have no secrets.