Excerpted with permission from Dorie Greenspan's Everyday Dorie:
If you love smoked paprika, the odds are high that you’ll love these carrots. They’re roasted in a hot oven after they’ve been rolled around in a mix of honey, vinegar, cumin, cayenne and smoked paprika, which I consider a magical ingredient. I use it for its deep, almost sexy flavor and think of its beautiful rusty color as a bonus. However, smoked paprika is only magical if it’s fresh. Give yours the once-over before you use it. Look at its color, which should be vibrant, then stir it or shake it and sniff — if it doesn’t smell rich and smoky, you’ll be disappointed in the dish.
Smoked paprika, which is also known as pimentón, can be either mild and sweet or picante (hot). I prefer to buy the sweet version and add cayenne or piment d’Espelette (see page 334) when I want some heat,
but experiment and see what you like.
The carrots are good hot, at room temperature or cold, making them as right for dinner as for a summer picnic.
If you have fresh carrots with their green tops, cut off the feathery tops but leave an inch or two of the green stems — they add to the dish’s simple good looks. Similarly, if their taproots are still attached, trim them so that they, too, are just an inch or so long. —Dorie Greenspan
Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or a double layer of parchment paper.
Whisk the cider vinegar, paprika, salt, cumin and cayenne together. When the spices are dissolved, whisk in the oil and honey and taste for cayenne.
Arrange the carrots on the baking sheet, pour over about 1⁄3 cup of the spice syrup you just made and turn the carrots until they’re evenly coated. Set the remaining syrup aside.
Roast the carrots for 20 minutes, then flip them over, rotate the baking sheet and roast for another 20 to 30 minutes, until they are tender and browned — they might be a tad charred here and there and they’ll probably be a bit wrinkled, and it’s all good. Pull the sheet from the oven. (The carrots can be made ahead to this point and kept at room temperature for up to 6 hours.)
Stir a tablespoon of the leftover syrup into the yogurt, taste and add more, if you’d like. (The yogurt sauce can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.)
Serve the carrots hot with the yogurt sauce spooned over them or spread under them as a base. Alternatively, cover the sauce and refrigerate it, then serve as a dipping sauce with the room-temperature carrots.
WORKING AHEAD: You can make the carrots up to 6 hours ahead and keep them at room temperature; the yogurt sauce can be made and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance.
STORING: Leftover carrots can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Called a “culinary guru” by the New York Times and inducted into the James Beard Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, Dorie Greenspan is the author of 13 cookbooks, her latest is Everyday Dorie. Some of her other bestselling cookbooks include Dorie's Cookies, Baking Chez Moi, Around My French Table and Baking From My Home to Yours.