Spring has sprung in our region, and that is cause for happiness in my world.
We are eagerly awaiting early-season produce, but I’ve managed to trick myself into thinking that I have jumped the gun on Mother Nature by adorning vegetables with fresh herbs. It’s good for us all to have an active fantasy life, right? And this one is certainly harmless and arguably healthy for all concerned.
I was inspired to “spring up” my standard roasted carrots last week with a soy-roasted salmon dinner. Carrots — unless they are picked early as “baby vegetables” — tend to be a fall harvest, and local ones have likely been stored for a few months. The good news is that root vegetables keep well under the right conditions.
But roasted carrots scream fall/winter to me, and the season is begging for a spritz of spring. Enter some fresh dill. By simply chopping the herb and sprinkling it on the carrots as I served them gave the dish an entirely different feel, which was most welcome as we say a not-so-fond farewell to winter.
This method works well with any roasted vegetable — and any herb you have lying around. Flat leaf parsley, tarragon, chives, cilantro, mint or basil are prime candidates to round out your side dishes while we wait for Mother Nature to provide spring’s bounty.
I leave my carrots mostly whole, but to ensure even cooking it’s a good idea to cut the ones that may be large or thick. I also cook these on parchment to save cleanup, but this is not necessary. The leftover carrots were wonderful in a salad the following day.
Spring Dilly-icious Carrots
Serves four generously (with leftovers)
2 pounds carrots, rinsed, with ends trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
A few pinches kosher salt
A generous grinding of fresh ground pepper
¼ cup fresh dill, coarsely chopped
- Heat your oven to 375 degrees. Place the carrots on a rimmed cookie sheet and toss with oil, salt and pepper.
- Roast the carrots in the oven for 35-45 minutes until they are cooked through and starting to brown.
- Remove the carrots from the oven, plate them and toss with fresh dill. Serve hot, at room temperature or cold.