Why are baby carrots so often served in a sugary glaze when roasting brings out their natural sweetness? A quick turn in a hot oven and a toss in coarse-grained mustard butter and fresh herbs is all they need. If your baby carrots are small enough in diameter, leave them whole; if they’re thick, halve them lengthwise. Peeling is optional, but make sure to give them a good scrub. Serve as a side with Boneless Roasted Leg of Lamb, Slow-Roasted Prime Rib au Jus, or Grilled Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Rosemary Marinade.
Shopping note: Don’t confuse packaged baby-cut carrots, which are mature carrots whittled into a smaller (i.e., “baby”) size, with fresh, green-topped, authentically immature carrots. True babies are tender, tapering, and unpeeled.
- Yield: 2 to 4 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 30 mins
- Active: 15 mins
- 1 pound baby carrots (about 2 bunches), peeled (optional), green stems trimmed to 1/2 inch, and wispy carrot tips removed
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons coarse-grained mustard
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh herbs, such as dill, flat-leaf parsley, chives, chervil, or tarragon
- Heat the oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place the carrots on a baking sheet, drizzle with the oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to evenly coat. Roast, shaking the pan occasionally, until a knife easily pierces the carrots, about 10 to 15 minutes. (Smaller carrots will cook in less time.) Remove from the oven and set aside while you prepare the herbed mustard-butter.
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat until foaming. Add the mustard and stir to combine. Add the roasted carrots and herbs and toss to coat the carrots in the butter mixture. Season with salt and pepper as needed.