When I was a kid, the only carrots I consumed were tasteless orange lumps floating in soup or stew, or worse, canned carrots mixed with peas — also devoid of taste and texture. As a result, I didn’t care much for carrots at all. But nutritionists are always urging us to eat plenty of colorful vegetables so I was determined to crack the code on how to make them more palatable. Surely I could make them as good TO me as they are FOR me. I discovered two main reasons for my carrot avoidance: Overcooking was problem one. Problem number two: under-seasoning. Cooked just until tender and seasoned with savory herbs, these veggies make a great side dish with a nice piece of fish or chicken. — L. Weal
1 pound carrots, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
Ground black pepper
large (5-quart) mixing bowl
quarter (9″ x 13″) sheet pan
1. Set oven to 400 degrees. Cut carrots lengthwise into quarters, making sure the strips are uniform in size so that they will cook evenly.
2. Combine all ingredients in bowl. Mix until carrots are well-coated in oil and seasonings.
3. Place carrots on pan in a single layer.
4. Cover loosely with foil and cook until fork-tender. Check them at 15 minutes and then every 5 minutes until done.
NOTES & TIPS
• No herbes de Provence in the pantry? Substitute Italian seasoning or equal parts thyme, rosemary, oregano, and tarragon.
• Cooking time can vary widely, depending on the size of the carrots and how firm you like your vegetables. Start checking for doneness first at 15 minutes, and then in 5-minute increments.
Thinner carrots with tops intact are sweeter and cook faster than larger, thicker carrots.