These chipotle roasted carrots with orange are the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. Serve drizzled with lime juice alongside grilled meat, sandwiched in a fish taco or on a bed of arugula with avocado and pumpkin seeds.
Sweet and spicy is a flavor combination I simply can't get enough of. That's why a put a pinch of cayenne in my hot chocolate, drench my sweet potatoes in spicy sauce, and geek out over Thai food. Probably also why my stomach is rumbling as I type this despite the fact that I just ate lunch.
The sweet in this dish comes from roasted carrots and orange juice. Carrots have a hint of natural sweetness and roasting brings that out. When you add orange juice to the mix it brings it to a whole new level. The roasted ginger and orange carrots on my quinoa and avocado salad taste almost like candy!
The spice comes from chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Have you ever cooked with these before? It's found in the Mexican food section in most grocery stores. Chipotles are simply smoked and dried jalapenos and they lend a smoky, spicy and complex flavor to foods. The adobo sauce is made from onions, spices, tomatoes and vinegar. Chipotles are pretty spicy, so most recipes won't need more than one, two at the max. I keep extras stored in a small container in the freezer and defrost as needed.
These are great as a side dish for any simply grilled meat, sandwiched into a fish taco or eaten cold from the refrigerator with a drizzle of lime juice! We ate this batch on a bed of spicy arugula microgreens with sliced avocado and pumpkin seeds. The creamy, buttery avocado cuts the spicy carrots.
Another thing - don't peel the carrots. I never do, unless I'm serving them as a crudite, and then it's only for presentation purposes. Phytochemicals tend to accumulate around around the peels so you get more nutrients, and save time!
- 2 lbs carrots, preferably rainbow
- 1 chipotle pepper, minced, plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 orange and zest
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Salt and black pepper
- Microgreens for serving
- Preheat oven 400 degrees.
- Cut the tops off the carrots, then cut in half lengthwise. Cut the thick part into quarters, lengthwise and the thinner part in half lengthwise.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the chipotle, olive oil, orange juice, zest, cumin and season with salt and black pepper.
- In a large bowl, toss together carrots and sauce. Spread evenly on a large baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes until tender.
- Serve garnished with microgreens.
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