Back at the Collingswood Market again, excited about these beautiful purple carrots I picked up from Formisano Farms. There’s something special about carrots from the farmers market with the tops still attached, recently pulled from the ground and inevitably still needing a good wash.
I hate to waste the bright green, frilly, and beautiful carrot tops. That’s when the gremolata steps in. Gremolata is a blended mix of fresh herbs, garlic, and acid. Think of it as a pesto without nuts and cheese. If you don’t want to make the gremolata, the vendor will typically take the tops off for you (and use them in their compost.)
Using carrot tops with other herbs adds an unexpected fresh, earthy twist.
I left the carrots whole and rustic, without peeling. For a more smooth experience (and for picky eaters!), I recommend peeling the carrots and possibly chopping them into smaller pieces. Adding water and maple syrup to the dish with the carrots lets them steam to get nice and soft with a touch of sweetness.
The carrots were the main part of the meal for us, served with simple baked chicken breasts and potatoes. I baked everything at the same time and start to finish dinner was done in less than 45 minutes with less than 10 minutes of actual work. This meal was anything but plain and had me craving carrots for days (and I can’t believe I just said that…)
Roasted Purple Carrots
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- 1 bunch purple carrots
- 1/2 c water
- 1/8 c maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 c parsley, roughly chopped
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Remove carrot tops and clean both carrots and carrot tops thoroughly. Lay on towels to dry.
- In a small bowl or 2-cup measuring cup, mix together water, maple syrup, brown sugar, and salt.
- Add carrots to a small baking dish and pour syrup mixture over top.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Roughly chop 1/2 of the carrot tops (compost or otherwise recycle the other 1/2).
- In a food processor, mix together chopped carrot tops, parsley, lemon juice, and garlic. Pulse until well combined. While mixing on low, slowly add olive oil until gremolata reaches desired consistency (I used about 1 tablespoon).
- Serve gremolata alongside of warm carrots.