Local Carrots and How to Elicit Nature’s Sweetness

IMG_2219Maybe it was my recent visit to the famous NYC vegetarian restaurant, Dirt Candy, that influenced my decision to NOT doll these baby carrots up too much. They had been pulled from the winter ground the day before by organic farmer, Patti Popp, Sport Hill Farm, CT,  and I like showing their roots and straggly tails.


Late season carrots need a little help in order to bring out their sweetness. I tossed them with organic maple syrup and my favorite local honey from Red Bee Apiary,  located right up the road from where I live. Once I sweetened them, I wanted them a little spicy, too.

I love the bright color on grey winter days. Anyone else dreaming of spring flowers  yet?

Roasted Local Carrots

Roasted Local Carrots

Just pulled farm fresh carrots are a staple at farmers’ markets. You may want to trim them to tidy them up, but I prefer to show the messiness of their roots and tips.

Season them with a little more or a little less, depending on your palate for sweet or spicy. Feel free to sub in curry, coriander, and a sprinkle of cinnamon if you prefer.


  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • ½ teaspoon salt (I love Farmer Freed’s Vanilla Bean Salt)
  • cracked fresh pepper to taste
  • ½- 1 teaspoon Ras El Hanout **
  • ¾ teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons honey


  1. If using farm fresh carrots, wash and trim them. If using bagged baby carrots, rinse and pat dry.
  2. Line cookie sheet with foil.
  3. In a large bowl, toss carrots with seasonings, maple syrup and honey.
  4. Place carrots in single layer on lined cookie sheet and roast at 375 F for 15 mins. Toss with tongs and roast another 15 minutes or until they yield to fork poke.
  5. Place on a brightly colored plate and enjoy nature’s candy.


**Ras El Hanout is a Moroccan spice blend that translates as “head of the shop”. The double meaning is that the owner of the shop blends the best of his spices and you receive the best goods.

Ras El Hanout is a blend of many spices which come together to yield a complex, slightly sweet, distinctly Middle Eastern flavor. The shortcut? Buy it at your local Whole Foods Market.

Don’t feel like shopping? Ras El Hanout is predominantly coriander, turmeric, cardamom, black pepper, clove, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pick and choose your favorites and season your carrots liberally.



  1. Happy Tu B’Shevat! Love the fig salad idea! The Roasted carrots look awesome. I love roasted butternut squash, I’m sure roasting the carrots produces the same rich kind of flavor. Looking forward to tasting!

    • Basically, roasting brings out the sweetness in all of these lovelies: carrots, beets, squash… the list goes on and on. It’s such a simple way to bring out the best in these veggies. AND, YES! This salad is well worth the effort. I couldn’t stop munching on it but it must be eaten immediately or it gets soggy and loses its greatness.

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