Coconut milk and ginger add complementary flavor to carrots, highlighting their naturally sweet, nutty flavor. Between the creamy coconut milk and the natural sugars in the carrots, the edges will caramelize in a way that tastes pretty much like carrot candy. Yum! This casserole makes sense on the table with everything from spring lamb to the Thanksgiving turkey, and reheats quite nicely, making it good for potlucks and other buffet situations.
Note that the recipe calls for using the thick coconut cream and watery liquid of coconut milk separately. For that reason, be sure to buy full-fat coconut milk, which naturally separates in the can, and not low-fat versions which don't tend to do so as much.
- 2 pounds carrots
- Spray oil or knob of butter
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) coconut milk
- (Optional) 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat an oven to 400F.
- Peel the carrots and then slice then evenly, on a diagonal for a prettier casserole, if you like. If you have a kitchen mandoline, this is a great time to use it, since the evenness of the slices is of utmost importance for an evenly cooked, pleasant-to-eat dish. If you don't have a kitchen mandoline, don't panic, just use a sharp knife and a steady hand to slice the carrots evenly.
- Grease an 8-by-8 casserole dish. Layer in about half the carrot slices. Grate about half of the ginger over the carrots. You won't be able to distribute the ginger perfectly evenly, but spread it around as much as possible and don't let it sit in giant clumps. Sprinkle with half of the salt. Layer in the remaining carrots and grate the remaining ginger on top, spreading it around again. Sprinkle with the remaining salt and the cayenne pepper, if you're using it.
- Open the coconut milk. Most brands will have separated in the can, with a thick layer of coconut cream on top and watery liquid underneath. Use a spoon to scoop out chunks of the coconut cream and either dollop it onto the casserole or spread it evenly over the top. Once all of the thick cream is on the casserole, pour in about 1/4 cup of the watery liquid below.
- Cover the dish and bake until the carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. Continue baking, uncovered, until the carrots are totally soft and starting to brown and caramelize along the edges, about another 30 minutes.
- Serve the casserole hot or warm.
Tip: If you're planning on making this ahead and reheating it, stop cooking about 10 minutes early, cover, and let cool that way so it doesn't dry out and reheats as if it were just made.