An unusual jar of honey and a ripping hot sheet pan were the keys to remaking what too often can be a forgettable side dish — roasted carrots.
First, the honey. We’ve seen our fair share of infused varieties, everything from ginger and saffron to lavender and matcha green tea. Most haven’t impressed, but in Mumbai, India, we discovered turmeric-infused honey.
We loved drizzling the honey over roasted cauliflower and suspected its rich, earthy flavors would work equally well with carrots. It did, such as in this recipe from our book “COOKish,” which limits recipes to just six ingredients without sacrificing flavor.
We get the most flavor out the carrots with a very hot oven — 500°F, in fact. For even richer caramelization, we first heat the baking sheet in the oven before adding the carrots. It is essential to add the honey only after the carrots roasted; the high heat would burn the sugar. But this also gave us an opportunity to warm the honey on the stovetop, better infusing it with turmeric and another common Indian seasoning, whole cumin seeds.
To keep all that richness in check, we finish the dish with a sprinkle of lime zest and juice, adding bright acidity that balances the sweetness.
Start to finish: 35 minutes
3 pounds medium carrots, peeled and halved on the diagonal
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon cumin seeds OR coriander seeds, lightly crushed
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
Heat the oven to 500°F with a rimmed baking sheet on an oven rack. In a bowl, drizzle the carrots with oil, then season with salt and pepper; toss well. Transfer to the hot baking sheet and roast until browned in spots and just tender, about 20 minutes. In a small saucepan, bring the honey, cumin and turmeric to a simmer, stirring. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm. Serve the carrots drizzled with the honey and sprinkled with the lime zest and juice.
EDITOR’S NOTE: For more recipes, go to Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street at 177milkstreet.com/ap