You’ll love these sweet and savory roasted carrots a whole bunch!
Cooking whole carrots requires only a tiny bit of prep (just peel and go!), but they take longer to cook through than smaller chopped carrots, especially on their thicker ends.
If you roast whole carrots uncovered, the dry heat inside your oven will turn the carrots’ outsides dry and leathery before the insides are tender and cooked through. Plus, the spices on the outside of the carrots will burn and taste bitter. The solution? A two-step cooking technique.
Step 1: Steam
Carrots contain a lot of water. When the carrots heat up in the oven, some of that water turns to steam. Covering the baking sheet tightly with foil traps the steam and the moist heat helps the carrots cook evenly — and won’t dry them out.
Step 2: Brown
Removing the aluminum foil after 15 minutes lets the steam escape and dries the outside of the carrots a little bit. Once the surface of the carrots is dry, it starts to turn golden brown in the hot oven, creating lots of new (delicious!) flavor molecules.
1 1/2 pounds medium carrots with tops
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil