EDISON, NJ - If you are staying home for Valentine’s Day dinner, this vegetable dish is definitely worth considering for such a special occasion.  It looks beautiful and tastes great and it is very easy to create in a relatively short amount of time.  This dish will pair well with roasts of any sort or even steaks.  I kept the skins of the carrots on as it maintains the natural beauty of the carrots and it retains lot of nutrients.  If you prefer to peel them, feel free.  It will lose a bit of the rustic, homey look of the dish but will certainly taste just as great.

You can find multi colored carrots at most farmer’s markets (there are winter markets in the area), farm stores, and sometimes at grocery stores.

Ingredients:

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1-2 Bunches of carrots with greens attached (preferably multi-colored carrots)

½ Cup golden raisins

1 Shallot diced

1 Cup whole walnuts, toasted

Olive oil

Coarse sea salt

Freshly cracked black pepper or red pepper flakes

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  While the oven is heating up, remove the greens from the tops of the carrots, leaving about an inch or so of the tops.
  • Wash carrots well.  Remove any stringy bits from the skins of the carrots and then dry completely (the carrots will steam rather than roast if they are wet, so be sure to dry them)
  • Place the carrots in a baking sheet or use multiple sheets if you feel the baking sheet is too crowded.  Drizzle a bit of olive over of the carrots and move them around the pan to coat.  Sprinkle a bit of sea salt over the top.
  • Place carrots in the oven and roast for 20 minutes.  While that is happening, take the green carrot tops and rinse/wash and dry completely.  Set aside.
  • After the 20 minutes of roasting, check the carrots and turn them.  Continue roasting another 10-20 minutes, until they are browned and cooked through.
  • While waiting for the carrots to finish, dice the shallot, toast the walnuts, and gather the raisins.
  • When the carrots have finished roasting, remove them from the pan and place them on a platter.  Place the dried green carrot tops over part of the carrots (You probably don’t need to use all the greens, so stop when you think the platter looks full of greens but does not obscure the carrots from view).  Scatter the diced shallot, toasted walnuts, and golden raisins over the top.
  • Drizzle a bit more olive oil over the top of the platter.  Scatter a pinch coarse sea salt over the platter and then use either freshly cracked black pepper or red pepper flakes to taste. 

Serve immediately while hot or warm.

Craig Thiebaud is a Diplomat of Classic Culinary Arts at the International Culinary Center (formerly The French Culinary Institute) located in SOHO in New York City. After extensive training in the Art of French cooking and professional food preparation in general, he brings his knowledge of food and passion for cooking to us by sharing culinary techniques and creating recipes that mainly use local, seasonal ingredients and can be easily recreated in the home kitchen. Good, wholesome meals for the family can be created quickly with planning, using the best techniques with the best ingredients that are both affordable and available. Let's get back into the kitchen together!