I have roasted many a carrots over the years and really have never been happy with them. Burnt, charred, not done, half done, 450, 400, 350 degrees, cut big, cut small, added spices, no spices, oil only, oil and butter….all meh.
These on the other hand are perfect in my eyes. Cooks Illustrated hit the nail on the head with this recipe: steam the carrots first then roast, all in one pan, all at one temperature. And very little clean up because of the genius use of parchment paper.
I like to use fresh carrots that still have their tops on, so if you can, seek those out. But if not possible, poke around the bagged carrots and look for ones that are fairly straight and similar in size. Not absolutely necessary but it makes cutting up the carrots easier.
Unfortunately I cannot link you to the original recipe. Cooks Illustrated requires a subscription to get all their recipes.
Roasted Carrots (Cooks Illustrated November 1, 2000)
1-1/2 pounds carrots
2 tablespoons butter melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare rimmed baking sheet by covering the bottom with parchment paper (see picture below).
Peel carrots, cut in half lengthwise, cut in half again lengthwise to get four even strips. Cut crosswise. Sometimes the bottom pieces are a bit too thick, so cut them in half (see pictures below). The purpose for this is to make all the pieces similar in size. But don’t sweat it, all will be good if some pieces are a bit smaller or bigger.
Place carrots, melted butter, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss together to thoroughly combine. Spread on prepared baking sheet into a single layer.
Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil (I used heavy duty because it’s bigger and I only need one sheet. But if all you have is regular aluminum foil, use that, but you may need two sheets to cover pan completely). Seal edges.
Cook in oven for 15 minutes (the steaming part).
After 15 minutes, remove aluminum foil and continue to cook for 30 to 35 minutes until carrots are cooked through and slightly browned.
fresh carrots with their tops on:
cut off a bit of the bottom and the top and weigh:
peeled and cut in half lengthwise:
cut again in half lengthwise:
cut in half crosswise:
may need to cut some of the bottom halves again:
place in large bowl:
mis en place:
add melted butter, salt and pepper:
prepared baking sheet:
single layer of carrots:
cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in oven:
after 15 minutes, remove foil:
put back in oven and cook for another 30-35 minutes: