The closer the restaurant gets to opening, the more often I arrive to find local food samples. A couple of weeks back it was two dozen duck eggs. Last week, the first harvest of micro greens from the hydroponic farm. Most recently it was two bags of Alaska-grown carrots, just pulled from the ground, clean and symmetrical, portioned evenly into two clear plastic bags, each with a wooden tag.
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I take the samples home to recipe test, wanting to do the ingredients – and thus the farmers behind those ingredients- justice by making something beautiful.
I enjoy roasting carrots whole, leaving a bit of the green tops and those squiggly little root strands at the bottom. This works best when the carrots are uniform in size. Whole roasted carrots are somehow rustic and fancy at the same time. Pile them together on an oblong platter and serve them up alongside a pot roast or roasted chicken. (If you have some bigger ones, slice them in half down the center.)
Often, you'll see carrot recipes go the sweeter route, with honey or brown sugar or orange, but I was quite taken with this saltier take, with butter, garlic, and a crispy layer of golden parmesan cheese, finished with a sprinkling of fresh parsley. This is one of those simple recipes that will have you standing over the pan, eating carrots with your fingers and grabbing the garlicky cheese bits that are stuck to the pan (my favorite part).
Parmesan Roasted Carrots
8-10 carrots, peeled
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 400°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the carrots on the baking sheet, allowing space between each one. Add the garlic to the melted butter. Drizzle the carrots with the garlic butter mixture, turning to coat. Season the carrots with kosher salt. Roast for 20 minutes (15 for thinner carrots). Sprinkle the parmesan cheese evenly over the carrots and return to the oven to roast another 10 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown and crispy and the carrots are tender-crisp. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. (Recipe adapted from Your Homebased Mom.)