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.
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.
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.
Adapted from April Bloomfield's Carrot, Avocado, and Orange Salad
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
Photos by Eric Moran