Sweet Roasted Roots with Carrot Top Gremolata

By • September 27, 2011 33 Comments

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Author Notes: I have roasted carrots with cinnamon before and enjoyed the contrast of sweet vegetable and warm spice. Adding roasted golden beets adds another layer of sweetness, while the carrot top gremolata, bright from a healthy splash of sherry vinegar, keeps you going back for more. Since the vegetables are young and tender, you can keep things rustic and choose not to peel them, or peel both for a more elegant, aesthetically vibrant presentation. gingerroot

Serves 4 as a side

For Sweet Roasted Roots

  • 9-10 ounces organic golden baby beets (about 1-2 inches in diameter), trimmed, leaving 1 inch of stems attached (reserve greens for another use)
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small pinches kosher salt
  • ***********************************
  • 9-10 ounces organic young carrots with tops (I used a mix of purple and orange)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tangerine or orange juice (from one or two juicy wedges)
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
  • Sprinkle of red pepper flakes
  • 1 anchovy fillet (packed in oil)
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

For Carrot Top Gremolata

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped feathery greens from carrot tops, main stem removed (from about 8 stems)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Thoroughly scrub beets and carrots with a stiff vegetable brush. Set carrots aside.
  3. Arrange beets in a ceramic baking dish slightly larger than sum of beets. Add olive oil and salt; coat by turning beets with your fingers. Cover dish tightly with a piece of foil. Roast until beets are tender and a knife slips out easily when pierced, about 25-30 minutes.
  4. While your beets are roasting, make your spice paste by combining cumin seed, cinnamon, red pepper flakes in a large mortar. Begin to grind spices with pestle; once seeds are crushed, add anchovy and olive oil and continue grinding until you have a thick paste.
  5. Transfer beets to a bowl to cool. Add water and citrus juice to hot baking dish to deglaze, stirring up the dark caramelized beet juices that have dried to the side. Add scrubbed carrots and spice paste, thoroughly stirring to coat. Replace tight foil top and roast until tender, 15-20 minutes.
  6. While carrots are roasting, make your gremolata by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well to combine, tasting to adjust seasonings. Set aside until ready to serve.
  7. Trim beet tops and bottoms and slip from their skins. Halve the smallest beets and quarter the largest ones. When carrots are finished roasting, add beets to the dish, stir to combine and arrange on a serving platter. Spoon carrot top gremolata all over the roasted roots and serve. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

More Great Recipes: Side Dishes|Vegetables|Appetizers|Beets

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