Here’s something for the coming festive season. If I’m going to have carrots as a side dish, then I usually like to have them roasted. This version gives them a real Christmas feel but with a little bit of a kick (which, of course, is optional of chilli isn’t your thing). The chilli oil used in this recipe is the jarred kind that you get in Chinese supermarkets, basically consisting of vegetable oil, salt and chilli flakes. It’s hot stuff so go easy with it. If you can’t get it just use ½ a teaspoon of chilli powder instead. Super quick to prep, this dish is a great accompaniment to any Sunday roast, whether it’s Christmas or not. Don’t wait until then, though. Give them a try before the big day.
Prep time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 40 minutes.
800g fresh carrots, topped, tailed and peeled
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chilli oil (or ½ tsp chilli powder)
1 tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp balsamic vinegar
Pinch sea salt
Preheat the oven to Gas 7/220C/425F.
First cut the carrots into thick batons by cutting them in half widthways, then half lengthways and half lengthways again (see picture). Put the batons into a large mixing bowl and put in all the other ingredients. Toss around until the carrots are completely coated. Spread out onto a baking tray and cook at the top of the oven for about 40 minutes, until the carrots are browned and tender. Use a spatula halfway through cooking to mix the carrots around a little and add a bit more oil if they seem too dry.
Serve straight out of the oven.