If you don't have any of these spices, or if you don't want to use them, skip them. The beauty of this recipe is in the method -- adding water right before you roast, and covering the pan -- so feel free to swap spices and play. Make it something new.
I like to add these carrots to grain salads, vegetable ones, or eat them all on their own.
This recipe is adapted from April Bloomfield's A Girl and Her Pig. —Kenzi Wilbur
medium garlic cloves, minced
Flaky sea salt
red chile flakes, or more to taste
or so young carrots, scrubbed and left unpeeled (1 pound)
If you have any crazy large carrots, cut them in half lengthwise -- you want everything to roast at more or less the same rate.
Put the minced garlic in a large mixing bowl along with the cumin, coriander, chilies, and the olive oil. Stir well.
Add the carrots and toss well -- I like to do this part with my hands -- so they’re thoroughly coated. Add a big, three-finger pinch of salt. (If you're using kosher salt, just scale back slightly.)
Put the carrots in a large shallow baking dish in one layer. (Alternately, just use two smaller dishes.) Make sure you scrape out all of the extra oil and spices, too. While tilting your baking dish, pour the water into one fairly clear corner. Then tip it back onto the counter, so the water spreads out evenly and the carrots don't lose their spicy coating. Cover the dish tightly with foil and put it in the oven.
Cook the carrots for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, or until they're browned and soft, but not so much that they're falling apart.
Serve warm, as a side, part of a salad, or anything you like.
I have a thing for most foods topped with a fried egg, a strange disdain for overly soupy tomato sauce, and I can never make it home without ripping off the end of a newly-bought baguette. I like spoons very much.