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Flavor From Scratch: Balsamic & Orange Roasted Carrots


Balsamic & Orange Roasted Carrots

Who here likes to be fancy? ME! ME! Actually, it's more that I like to pretend to be fancy. It's a fine line between real and pretend fancy so pretending to be fancy is 99% of the way there. Either way, these carrots will make you seem super fancy. Why? First, because I say so. Of course that's a legitimate reason. Second, because balsamic vinegar. Fancy. Third, you add orange zest into anything and it's *for real* fancy. Even the word "zest" sounds fancy. Fourth, we grew these multi-colored carrots in our garden and WHOA are they fancy.

You can of course make this recipe with normal orange carrots from the store. I swear I won't even tell you that you are not fancy, partially because the carrots that you see in the picture are the ONLY carrots we were able to grow this year. Better than last year when we did not get even one carrot to grow. Luckily, these beauties turned out absolutely delicious so it was all worth it!

It's hard to tell but if you look at the pan of carrots, you can actually see that the reddish purple carrots were bright yellow on the inside (i.e. the carrot on the far left on the baking sheet above)! How awesome!! Little things amuse me...but come on, pretty cool. I was shocked when I cut into it. For those of you who knew this because you are real gardeners or real cooks, just pretend to be excited with me. Someday maybe this won't surprise me anymore but for now it seems crazy awesome!

prep time:15 minutes, cook time: 30-40 minutes
makes: 4-6 servings (as sides)

  • 12 small to medium whole carrots
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large orange (to get 1/4 cup orange juice and 1/2 tablespoon orange zest)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • handful of green beans, optional (I threw them in because they were in our garden)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut carrots into halves or quarters lengthwise depending on the size of the carrots. You want them to all be a similar thickness. Place on a baking sheet with green beans (optional).
  3. Zest orange and set orange zest aside for later. Add 1/4 cup of orange juice from your orange into a small sauce pan. Add the balsamic vinegar and simmer on low heat for 3-5 minutes until is starts to thicken slightly. Add minced garlic and 1/2 tablespoon of orange zest. Simmer for another 3-5 minutes until the mixture reduces by about half. 
  4. Toss carrots and green beans (optional) with olive oil, balsamic orange sauce, and salt & pepper. 
  5. Place carrots in 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, until they reach your desired tenderness. 
  6. To serve, you can squeeze fresh orange juice over the top.

This recipe works with regular or fancy multi-colored carrots so don't fret if you don't have the ones like in my pictures.

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