It’s the season for root vegetables! Potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips — such beautiful comfort foods they make. One of my favorite main dishes is a roasted root vegetable anything — rich and carmelized, yet deep and savory, at Casa SoupAddict, they’re meals in themselves.
I’m really into non-traditional mashes this year — sweet potatoes, parsnips (yum!) … and carrots. Roasted carrot mash accented with tarragon has been one of my lovelier creations this fall. So flavorful, and hints of lemon and shallot add a delectable dimension to the caramelized goodness of roasted carrots.
I have hundreds of these beautiful babies in my carrot patch right now. (That probably sounds a bit braggy, but really, carrots are easy to grow in the home garden: sow seeds in rich, loose soil that has been deeply dug. Water regularly. Wait until greens are full and lush, then dig one up and see what Nature has wrought. Ta da!) And I love that, although all the seeds were sown at the same time, they’ve been growing at different rates, which means I have a continuous supply of carrots at whatever size I need. (I appreciate that Nature co-enables me to be greedy with garden goodies.) (I don’t think co-enable is really a word, but since I’m already greedy about garden goodies, and she feeds that greed by nurturing the bitsy seeds I sow with rain and sunshine, I figure we’re co-enablers.)
Mashes can be as simple or complex as you want: a little butter (good); or herbs and cream and a little sunny lemon (it’s all good). You can channel your frustrations of the day with a hand masher, or use a food processor to do all the heavy lifting. (Co-enabled me opts for the latter.)
Oh! I wanted to mention that I borrowed a technique from CooksIllustrated.com where the carrots (and shallots) roast tightly wrapped in foil for the first stint of their oven bake, which steams the carrots through, without drying them up to tiny little shrivels of their former selves. (The technique sits behind their paywall, or else I would link to it here.)
I’m totally loving root vegetable mashes — they’re the cat’s pajamas. And this roasted carrot mash is just so pretty on the table.
Between you and me, I photographed this dish at noon, and ate the whole bowl for lunch. Apparently, I’m carrot co-enabled, and just a bit piggy, too.
- 1 1/2 pounds carrots peeled, halved crosswise, and cut lengthwise into even strips
- 1 small shallot peeled, and sliced into quarters
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 tablespoon carrot juice optional
- kosher salt and ground black pepper
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. In large bowl, combine the carrots and shallot quarters with the oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a big pinch of black pepper; toss to coat. Transfer the vegetables to a foil- or parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet and spread in single layer.
Cover the baking sheet tightly with foil and roast for 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue to cook, stirring once or twice, until carrots are well browned and tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
In a small sauce pan, heat the butter, cream, lemon zest and tarragon over medium-low, until the butter is melted. Stir to combine.
Place the carrots and shallot in the bowl of a food processor and purée until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in the cream mixture and carrot juice (if using) until completely incorporated. Taste, and add salt and pepper as necessary.
Source: adapted loosely from FineCooking.com