As a kid, I used to beg my mother to buy me whole carrots—the ones with lush wild greens still waving from the ends, freshly plucked from the ground, and unpeeled. Whenever she’d bring them home, I’d squeal with glee, quickly rinsing the dirt off the largest carrot of the bunch. I’d set myself carefully at the table, clear my throat, and say, “What’s up, Doc?” before taking a huge bite. Then I’d sit there until it was all gone, happily crunching away, wholeheartedly pretending to be Bugs Bunny.
It’s not the strangest thing I did as a child, but it’s probably not my most shining example of normal behavior, either. The only way I can defend it is to say this: For a kid who would only eat pasta for several years of her life, this play-acting bunny routine must have done a lot of good for my health.
Fast-forward a couple of decades, and carrots are still one of my favorite vegetables. I don’t pretend to be a cartoon character when I’m eating them anymore, but they still make me feel like a kid when I’m crunching away. It’s somewhat of a miracle that I love carrots so much, since I’m actually a pretty hard sell when it comes to veggies—they’ve got to be crisp, fresh, and perfectly cooked if I’m not snacking on them raw. But carrots always have a way of getting me to my happy place.
So I was genuinely shocked to realize last week that I’ve never lugged home a bunch of whole, freshly picked carrots and tried to incorporate them into a meal. Baby carrots dipped in hummus have been my jam for the past few years, but it’s as if I lost that once-magical enchantment I had with the whole, uncut vegetable itself, leafy greens and all.
First time was a sweet, sweet charm with my foray into carrot-cooking, so I’m sharing this recipe with you right away: honey-glazed whole carrots, smothered in olive oil and then dusted with sea salt and black pepper, are my new go-to weeknight side dish. Simply chop the leafy tops off of your whole carrots, lightly peel them (no perfectionism needed—some skin texture is great!), coat them in olive oil, and then drizzle each carrot in honey before sprinkling on some fresh black pepper and sea salt.
Stick it in the oven and just 30 minutes later, the deed is done.
Now, that’s what’s up, Doc.
- One bunch of whole carrots, about 6 large or 8 medium carrots
- ¼ cup of honey
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Rinse the carrots under cold water, and then cut the leafy tops off of the carrots.
- Lightly peel the carrots using a veggie peeler. You don't have to take every bit of carrot skin off; just give it a cursory peel.
- Pat the carrots dry with a paper towel.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place carrots on the paper.
- Coat the carrots thoroughly in olive oil, drizzling the oil on top of the carrots until all sides of the carrots are covered. Use your hands to massage the olive oil into the carrots, so you don't miss any spot.
- Next, take your honey and drizzle it generously over each seasoned carrot. Flip the carrots and drizzle honey over the other side.
- Season the carrots generously with sea salt and black pepper, taking care to turn carrots over so that all sides get the seasoning.
- Pop carrots in the oven for 30 minutes. Check with a fork for desired tenderness, and return to the oven for another 5 minutes if carrots need to soften just a bit more.
- Serve immediately for a delicious side dish for virtually any meal!
How’d you like this honey-glazed roasted carrots recipe? Let us know!