Day after day, other food blogs inspire! Today it was Kalyn's Kitchen's great-looking roasted carrots and mushrooms.
I followed Kalyn's recipe except that I used:
a whole pound of real carrots! the kind you peel and cut into chunks. The pre-peeled carrots marketed as 'baby carrots' aren't baby carrots at all, just huge humongous carrots formed into carrot-bullet shapes. They're fine for eating raw but have little flavor when cooked.
Just 1 tablespoon oil. In the last year, I've learned that the trick for using LESS OIL when roasting vegetables means dirtying an extra dish. Sure, you can drizzle oil on the vegetables, right there on the baking sheet -- but you'll use more oil because it's harder to coat the vegetables to take full advantage of the flavor. So now I always use a bowl and a spatula to combine the vegetables and the oil very well -- this means tossing it all several times, it's not hard, it just takes maybe an extra 30 seconds. But it really works!
They were GREAT! Even my Dad, who's so-so about carrots, admits they were "okay". (That would be a compliment. For the record, he ate every single bite.)
ROASTED CARROTS & MUSHROOMS with THYME
Time to table: 45 minutes
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into chunks (try for equal height and width, be aware they'll shrink)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Salt & pepper
8 ounces baby portabella or white button mushrooms, washed, stems trimmed, small caps left whole, large caps broken into pieces
Preheat oven to 450F. Combine the carrots, olive oil and thyme in a bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper. Toss well, coating the carrots with the fat. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the bowl, toss well with the olive oil left from the carrots. Add the mushrooms to the rimmed baking sheet, season again and stir well. Roast another 15 minutes or until carrots and mushrooms are both cooked through and beginning to caramelize.
The carrots and mushrooms shrink considerably. This means that the portion size will 'seem' small and may leave you wanting more. So if everyone's starved, I'd definitely suggest adding a second (unroasted) vegetable that will be more filling.
Breaking the mushroom caps into pieces, rather than slicing them, makes them seem less like 'canned' or 'mushroom soup' mushrooms, more like fresh.
To my taste, the mushrooms are 'accent' versus an ingredient of equal importance. I once made them with a full pound of mushrooms, that was too many mushrooms:carrots.
Recipe and photo updated in 2008.
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