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
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)
extra virgin olive oil
small pinches kosher salt
9-10 ounces organic young carrots with tops (I used a mix of purple and orange)
fresh tangerine or orange juice (from one or two juicy wedges)
whole cumin seed
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes
1 anchovy fillet (packed in oil)
extra virgin olive oil
For Carrot Top Gremolata
finely chopped feathery greens from carrot tops, main stem removed (from about 8 stems)
Thoroughly scrub beets and carrots with a stiff vegetable brush. Set carrots aside.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love.
Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.