Recently at my place of employment, I have been moved from the Italian food station to what they call "Whole + Sum". This area is what you would call the health food. At first I was a little hesitant about being moved there because who wants to cook and eat rabbit food, right? However, my executing chef helped me realize that there is more to it than meets the eye. The challenge is to make good food that is healthier for you. And if one is to grow professionally, one must take challenges head on and see them as opportunities. So, one of the first side dishes I made was the cumin roasted carrots with fresh mint and honey. It is an intriguing way of using carrots and quite tasty to boot.
The first thing I needed was carrots, lots and lots of carrots. Given that I work in a professional kitchen, all I had to do was ask my sous chef to order me some carrots. What he gave me were batonnet cut carrots. Now, if you can't find this cut at your local super market, you can always cut them yourself, or just another type of carrot. Baby carrots or sliced work well. Try to avoid matchstick carrots.
honey, olive oil,
orange and lemon juice.
I chopped the mint and divided it into halves. One half I wold toss with the carrots before cooking and the other I would use as garnish after cooking.
Next, I took the juices, garlic, honey and half my mint, as well as the oil and made a sort of vinaigrette. I combined the first five ingredients and slowly whisked in the oil.
After I had my dressing, I tossed my carrots in it along with the cumin. After being tossed and dressed, the carrots went on a sheet pan and into the oven.
The carrots took about 20 - 25 minuets in the oven. When they came out, I panned them up and garnished with my reserved mint and they were ready for service!
The carrots are flavorful but low sodium and low fat. This is great way to eat your veggies. For those of you who want to do this at home, here is a simple recipe:
2 lbs carrots
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
5 sprigs of fresh mint
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp honey
1/4 cup orange juice
1/8 cup lemon juice
1-2 tbsp cumin
Prepare carrots by cutting them into whatever shape you would like.
Fine chop mint and separate into halves.
Mix garlic, half the mint, honey and juices. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while whisking until everything is incorporated and smooth.
Toss carrots with mixture.
Place carrots on a sheet pan and sprinkle with cumin evenly.
Roast carrots in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Check after 15.
Carrots should be tender, but not mushy. Some might have a light char on them, but they should not be burnt. If the carrots are not done, let them cook longer checking in 5 minute intervals.
Once the carrots are done, sprinkle with the other half of your mint.