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Roasted Carrots with Orange Zest and Cinnamon

This unusual combination of flavors will be popular with everyone at your table. Oven roasting concentrates the natural sugar in the carrots, giving them an extra flavor dimension. Serve these carrots with roasted chicken or fish and a green vegetable, such as green beans.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and trimmed 
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed  
  • 2 orange zest strips, each 2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide, julienned
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt 
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste  
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half 
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice 

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Cut the carrots into 2-inch lengths; halve lengthwise any thick top portions so all the pieces will cook evenly. In a shallow, 9-by-13-inch baking dish, combine the carrots, garlic and orange zest. Drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Add the cinnamon stick, toss to coat the vegetables evenly and spread in an even layer in the dish.

Roast the carrots, stirring every 10 minutes, until tender and lightly browned, about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a warmed serving dish. Sprinkle the carrots with the lemon juice and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Variation:

Roasted Carrots with Orange Zest and Cumin  Omit the cinnamon stick. Sprinkle 1 tsp. ground cumin over the carrots with the salt and pepper.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Healthful Cooking, by Mary Abbott Hess, Dana Jacobi & Marie Simmons (Oxmoor House, 2003).