Cast Iron

Charred Carrots with Apple Brown-Butter Vinaigrette

March  8, 2017
2 Ratings
Photo by Rex Miller
  • Serves 5
Author Notes

IF IT’S A VEGETABLE, I’ve charred it. Browning fruits or vegetables over high heat develops both bitter and sweet notes and creates texture. Charring is kind of like building an oversize grill mark on the surface of a vegetable or fruit. For the carrots in this dish, it’s the first step toward transforming a mundane root into something meaty. I might even call the whole thing seductive once it’s bathed in browned butter, apples, pine nuts, and thyme.

Excerpted from Deep Run Roots, Copyright © 2016 by Vivian Howard. Used with permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York. All rights reserved. Follow Vivian Howard on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. —Vivian Howard

What You'll Need
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1 pound medium carrots, washed and scrubbed
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 scallion bottoms, white part only, sliced into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 sprigs thyme, picked
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 large crisp eating apple, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Preheat your oven to 300° F. In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, mix 1/2 teaspoon salt, coriander, and fennel. Toss the mixture together with the carrots. Place the carrots in a single layer in your preheated pan and begin charring them on all sides. This will take about 8 minutes.
  2. Transfer the pan to your oven and roast for 50 minutes. The carrots should be a dark caramelized brown on all sides and should pierce easily with a knife when they’re done.
  3. Just before you bring the carrots out of the oven, heat the butter in an 8- to 10- inch sauté pan till it starts to take on a little color. Add the pine nuts, scallions, thyme, and chili flakes and continue cooking till the pine nuts are toasted and the butter is brown and nutty-smelling. Add the apples, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and the lemon juice and cook an additional 45 seconds. The apples will absorb most of the liquid, but you should have a tablespoon or two of vinaigrette visible in the pan.
  4. Spoon the apples, pine nuts, and all their liquid over the carrots. Serve warm.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Dona
  • SJay
  • hookmountaingrowers

5 Reviews

SJay December 13, 2022
Best carrot recipe I have ever had — hands down. And that’s mostly because I did not like cooked carrots until this recipe. 10/10. It’s a must try.
SJay November 28, 2019
I didn’t like carrots unless they were raw before eating this amazing dish before my brother made it for our family. Now I’m hooked and crave this dish all the time. Thanks for sharing this recipe, Vivian. ❤️ you so much!
This was so tasty - the combination of flavors brought me back to Thanksgiving in the middle of Spring. Really nice pared with lighter entrees like fish (at least in the spring).
Dona March 11, 2017
I have her book, I can't seem to find this recipe. Can anyone tell me what page it's on?
Dona March 11, 2017
Oops, it's in salads, not sides.