Raw or fried, the carrot is a versatile beast. It forms the base of our vegetable stocks and complements many a Sunday lunch, boiled with peas or roasted with a glaze of delicious olive oil. Yes, the carrot forms a major part of our diet, and it's not going anywhere anytime soon.
I'd just bought some smokey chipotle chili powder at Borough Market and I had some carrots in desperate need of use. Faced with both the guilt of letting perfectly good vegetables go to waste and the desire to try out my new purchase, I combined the two in this oven roasted recipe.
One of the best ways to cook carrots, in my opinion, is rolled up in foil with a bunch of agave or brown sugar with a vegan butter substitute, and simply baked. Sweet and spicy similarly sounded like a good combination, one that would work well with the already sweet flavour carrots naturally provide, so I decided to go with an agave nectar based marinade.
I baked the carrots in a lattice for aesthetic reasons, but I'm not going to go into that here. The flavour is the same if you bung them in foil and the lattice is a pain in the arse (a pretty pain in the arse, but a pain nevertheless). If you do want to get fancy and you don't bake in foil, however, you'll need to reduce the cooking time (especially if you slice the carrots as thin as in the picture above).
The ingredients provided below are more of a suggestion than a recipe. I admittedly didn't measure, so if your oven goes into meltdown then... well, anyway.
Sweet Chipotle Carrots
- I prepared my carrots in a lattice formation for aesthetics, but that's not at all necessary. Simply peel and slice the carrots into sticks like you'd pack in a kid's lunchbox.
- Mix the agave, chipotle, cumin, and oil. As far as amounts go, a pinch of chili and cumin each should do for every two or three carrots. You can guage your own flavour. With the oil and agave, I would go 50/50. You can use maple syrup if you have no agave, but the flavour will be slightly different.
- Get a piece of foil ready and place the carrots in the centre. Drizzle with the spicy-sweet syrup and wrap the foil tightly to completely envelope the mix. Bake at 200 C / 400 F for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes before opening the foil.