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The advantage of preparing meals from the freshest seasonal produce is the minimal requirements needed for flawless dishes. This recipe for Roasted Carrots and Orange needs only three ingredients and a simple preparation.
I receive a weekly box of just-picked produce from my farm’s CSA (Community – Supported Agriculture) every Tuesday. The variety changes slowly week by week and some may remain a steady staple for several months – like carrots and oranges.
Creating new dishes from reoccurring ingredients is a challenge I’m enjoying – like a personal iron chef competition. My CSA membership changed how I cook; I no longer buy what I need to make chosen recipes, but create recipes from what I receive in the CSA box and find at the farmer’s market. Relying on the same dishes makes day to day meal preparation manageable but simple tweaks to your routine can generate remarkable results.
One trick is to simply change the methodology of preparation. Take these carrots and oranges for example; one day grate the raw carrots and pair with a lovely orange vinaigrette, next time boil the carrots and puree for soup with a splash of fresh squeezed orange juice and grated orange zest, or simply lay sliced carrots and oranges in a dutch oven and bake with your chicken.
And whenever you’re in doubt- roast! I’ve roasted carrots countless times – but I was surprised by the results of roasted oranges. The orange juice balances the sweetness of the roasted carrots and the orange peel undergoes a magical transformation once roasted which concentrates its natural sugars – candied orange peel reborn.
Roasted Carrots and Orange
Use blood oranges when in season, otherwise any variety works. The roasted ingredients don’t need much seasoning, but try some cumin or cinnamon for variety.
One bunch organic carrots, washed
1 organic blood orange or other variety
1 tablespoon unrefined extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, or grass-fed butter or ghee
Unrefined sea salt
Fresh chopped herbs optional (parsley, mint, cilantro)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cut carrots into 1 inch slices and place on a roasting pan. You can leave smaller carrots whole.
3. Cut the orange in half and squeeze all the juice over the sliced carrots.
4. Slice the remaining orange peel thinly and add to the carrots.
5. Toss carrots and oranges with oil or butter and sprinkle with salt. Make sure not to crowd the pan. (Use 2 pans when doubling the recipe).
6. Roast until the carrots and orange peel begin caramelizing, about 30 minutes.
7. Adjust seasoning, add fresh herbs if using, and serve.
NOTE: I prefer to roast with coconut oil, palm oil or butter. If your are using olive oil, roast for longer at a lower temperature. Alternatively, roast the carrots and orange peel with the juice only and season with the olive oil after roasting. Nutrients in vegetables are better absorbed with fats so do not leave them out!