As with many vegetables, roasting carrots brings out their sweet inner nature. Peel the carrots or don't peel the carrots—it's up to you. Peeling takes a bit more time, obviously, but also leads to a more consistent final texture to the dish. If the carrots are thin like those pictured, feel free to leave them whole for an extra pretty presentation at the end.
A few optional flavor additions and garnishes are mentioned below. The easiest way to mix up the flavor of roasted carrots, though, is simply to add other vegetables, particularly root vegetables, to the mix. Carrots are extra tasty when roasted up with parsnips, turnips, and/or rutabagas. A few finely chopped fresh herbs at the end also bring out the best in roasted carrots, as does a sprinkle of espelette or other mild chile powder, crunchy fleur de sel salt, or freshly ground black pepper.
Serve roasted carrots with roasted meats, as part of a vegetable-centric meal, or as a salad alongside any range of dishes.
- Preheat an oven to 375F degrees. Peel the carrots and trim off their ends, if you like; or simple trim their greens as pictured. Cut the carrots in long, even sticks or even, angled cross-section slices. If the carrots are relatively thin, as those pictured here, you can leave them whole—just be sure to check their thicker ends for tenderness at the end.
- Put the prepared carrots in a large baking dish and drizzle with the oil. (If you want a few garlic cloves to roast with the carrots, add them now—peel them or at least move most of their papery peel; this is also the time to add a few sprigs of herbs, if you like). Toss to coat the carrot pieces thoroughly. Sprinkle with salt and pop the dish in the oven.
- Roast until the carrots are starting to brown on the bottom, about 20 minutes. Stir and continue roasting until the carrots are tender with lovely brown edges, about 20 more minutes. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature with the garlic and the herbs, if you used them. Add a dollop or two of crème fraîche or yogurt to dress things up, and a sprinkle of espelette chile powder or minced fresh herbs, if you're so inclined.