Saturday, December 13, 2008

Easy Recipe for Roasted Carrots with Agave-Balsamic Glaze

Roasted Carrots with Agave-Balsamic GlazeRecently I was talking to my friend Susan about cooking carrots and she told me she gets her two young daughters to eat them by glazing the hot carrots with honey. I think that planted the seed in my mind for some kind of sweetened, glazed carrots, so today I used the same method as Agave and Balsamic Glazed and Roasted Buttercup Squash and roasted some carrots. Then in that serendipitous way that life sometimes works, Susan dropped by just as I was shooting these photos and we sat at my kitchen table and munched down the whole plate of carrots. Susan and I have both approved this recipe.

I used to buy "baby" carrots, but in recent years I've come to prefer whole carrots, especially if they're sweet organic carrots. I cut the smaller ends of the carrots on the diagonal, and halved the larger ends vertically before cutting them on the diagonal. You want pieces that are the same thickness.

While the oven preheats, brush the carrots with the agave-balsamic mixture. I sprayed the pan with olive oil to keep the glaze from sticking.

After 20 minutes I turned the carrots and brushed on a bit more of the agave-balsamic mixture. I turned them again after ten minutes, then cooked ten minutes more for a total cooking time of almost 40 minutes. Watch them carefully the last 10 minutes.


Roasted Carrots with Agave-Balsamic Glaze
(Makes 4 servings, recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from Susan's honeyed carrots)

Ingredients:
1 lb. carrots peeled and cut into diagonal pieces the same thickness (One pound is about 8 medium carrots. You can also use "baby" carrots, but I think whole carrots have more flavor.)
1 1/2 T balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 T Agave Nectar
olive oil for spraying roasting pan (or use non-stick spray)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 425F/220C. Peel carrots and cut off ends. If carrots are thin, cut into same-size diagonal slices. If carrots have a thicker end, cut off thick part and cut it vertically, then cut into diagonal slices. Carrot slices should be close to the same thickness.

Mix balsamic vinegar and agave nectar with a small whisk. Spray flat roasting pan with olive oil or non-stick spray, then arrange carrots in a single layer. Use a pastry brush to brush about 2/3 the agave-balsamic mixture on the carrots.

Roast carrots about 20 minutes, then use a metal turner to turn them and brush with remaining agave-balsamic mixture. Roast ten minutes more, then turn again and check for doneness. Continue to roast until carrots are fork-tender and lightly browned, not quite ten minutes more for me in my toaster oven. Watch them carefully during the final roasting time because they can go from nicely browned to overly done fairly quickly. Grind over desired amount of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper and serve hot.

Printer Friendly Recipe

Roasting carrots isn't that unusual, but Agave Nectar comes from a plant, and it seems interesting enough to share for Weekend Herb Blogging, now under the capable management of Haalo, and being hosted by Chriesi from Almond Corner this week. If you're blogging about an interesting way to cook with vegetables or herbs, here is more information about how to enter WHB this week.

South Beach Suggestions:
Carrots are phase two for the South Beach Diet, and even though Agave Nectar is a sweetener, vinegar lowers the glycemic index of other foods, making this a good choice for phase two or three of South Beach. Ever since I discovered Agave Nectar, I've pretty much stopped using honey. Agave is a natural sweetener that's low on the glycemic index. Agave Nectar comes from the Blue Agave plant, and it's a great alternative for people who don't want artificial sweeteners but are trying to avoid sugar.

More Roasted Carrots to Try:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Roasted Carrots and Turnips with Balsamic and Herbs
Roasted Carrots with Moroccan Spices
Oven-Roasted Carrots from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once
Honey-Roasted Carrots and Fennel from 80 Breakfasts
Carrots with Dukkah and Tahini from Green Gourmet Giraffe
Want even more recipes?  I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.
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27 comments:

Pam said...

Right now, I only use agave in tea, but I'm really hoping to branch out and try it on some other things. This sounds good!

Dayna said...

I was a big fan of the butternut squash you made, so these I am certainly trying!

Pearl said...

those roasted carrots look so beautifully caramelized and yummy!

sue bette said...

I totally agree with you on the avoidance of baby carrots - which are not babies at all and are a whittled down version of the Imperator carrot - a variety that matures very quickly and thus has less flavor.
I love roasted carrots and I've always used honey so I am looking forward to trying the agave combination!

Roberta in Maumee said...

I love roasted carrots! I, too, use the full-size carrots. After you see how "baby" carrots are produced in big tumbling machines, you understand that you're not getting a natural product. I totally agree about the flavor of full-size carrots--organic full size carrots for me, as they're the tastiest and 'bestest!'

I want to learn about agave! I'll have to google it--and put it on my grocery list. Thanks!

ttfn300 said...

this sounds fantastic!

Foodista said...

Definitely delicious :)

Christine said...

This looks perfectly delicious!

maggie said...

This looks lovely.

Geri said...

Kalyn:

Agave is a natural sweetener, and one type of agave—blue agave—is used to make mezcal or tequila. OlĂ©! Agave can be found as a nectar or syrup at health food stores (and now some grocery stores), and it’s 1.4 times as sweet as sugar, has 60 calories to a tablespoon. It also readily dissolves in coffee, tea, or other beverages. In addition, it’s beneficial to diabetics because it has a low glycemic index and can help keep blood sugar levels even.

Veggie Wedgie said...

ooooo this looks so yummy! Plus I love agave-I use it on everything!

Happy Day Lady said...

Hi Kalyn!
I'm behind on your posts!
Carrots look great - must source out the agave sweetener - sounds neat.
The Hungarian Goulash Roast was a BIG hit with the family - thank you!
And most of all - loved your super 60 list! Happy Birthday year!
and God bless you "60 x 60 fold" for all you do here in blogland helping others.
:O) Suzie

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Wow those look divine! Who knew that carrots could look/taste so good:-)

Kalyn said...

Sorry to be so slow in responding to comments. I've been working on my prize post for Menu for Hope all afternoon! Glad everyone likes the carrots; Susan and I sure did like them!

Arfi Binsted said...

I am not familiar with Agave nectar. Looking at the plant, it looks like a pineapple plant. How interesting.

Chef Chuck said...

They look sweet, very good dish for the holiday!
It is great to cook with friends,two heads better to create yummy tastes!! Thanks Chuck

danazia said...

Howdy! I am tickled to find you! I also write a blog on lower calorie eating while having a great love of food. Come check it out. I can't wait to try your carrots.
Dana Zia
http://danazia.wordpress.com/

Rachel Goldman said...

They look amazing. Though this recipe is making me scramble for the dictionary to look up agave!

Susan said...

Yes, the carrots were delicious!

Nate-n-Annie said...

Very nice. I made steamed carrots for the kids last night, just sprinkled with a little sea salt. I was wondering if a drizzle of balsamic vinegar would give it extra flavor.

Merry Christmas to all!

JenniferRT66 said...

Hi there, I tried this and it was terrific! I am on an elimination diet, so the fact that you used agave nectar was perfect. Would you mind if I post a link to your blog on my elimination diet blog?

Kalyn said...

Jannifer, I'm glad you liked it, and of course feel free to link to the recipe on your blog.

esper_d said...

I remember first learning about the agave plant in Tequila, Mexico at the Tequila factory.

I think this recipe is cool. I know I always comment on your older recipes, but that is because I look through them before shopping days to get new ideas.

I have agave nectar already, but need to put carrots on my list. I really like this idea. Thanks.

Maybe I'll pair it with some salmon and asparagus for lunch.

Kalyn said...

esper_d, I love getting comments on the older recipes. This is a great way to cook carrots.

Mrsblocko said...

I don't know what happened but these carrots did not turn out for me at all. I just could not get them to brown in the oven. Maybe it was because i used honey instead of Agave? I wrote about my disaster on my blog here. Thank you for sharing your recipe even though I couldn't get it to turn out properly!

Mrs. said...

Mrs. Blocko,
I do think honey is much stickier than agave, but I don't know why that would make the carrots not brown. I suspect it's cooking something else in the oven that produced steam that caused the problem for you.

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