I have this confession to make. I really don’t like store bought carrots.  Okay, I do for certain things like stocks, pot roasts, and carrot sticks, etc., but not for presentation.  Yes, I know that sounds incredibly pretentious, but really, who wants to cook a carrot, style it, and then take multiple photographs?  It seems like the most boring subject matter on earth.  However, there is one exception. Heirloom carrots. Not only are they unique, farm fresh, local, beautiful, and flavorful, but they are also a little hard to come by.  Yes, we have upscale markets that sell them, but I wanted fresh out of the earth, purple carrots.  So, my partner in crime and I set out last Saturday to the local farmer’s market in search of the perfect specimen.  We braved the hot desert weather, the droves of street musicians who funny enough were all playing the cello.  Why the cello?  I don’t know.  We encountered numerous dogs (walking their humans), rogue baby strollers, and oodles of farm fresh goodies.  The search was difficult.  Apparently, everyone wanted carrots.  We searched and searched until finally we found a stall that had these damn wonderful carrots.  It was the last bunch.  The middle aged couple next to us showed interest in my carrots.  Why?  What were they going to do with these precious gems?  Cook and eat them like normal human beings?  Pffft.  Those babies were begging to be photographed.  So, I did what any food stylist would do, I reached down, grabbed them, threw my money at the lovely farmer and we ran out of there. Success!  So, what exactly should be done with these carrots?  Simple is best.  Honestly, heirloom carrots baked with a bit of olive oil can stand on their own.  However, I wanted something sweet, but with a hint of spice.  My mind took me to the east.  I conjured images of the spice route. The colors, the odors, decadent sweets.  Then I thought, well if I go with this particular theme, the glaze should be made with honey. No.  Honey is too dominant.  How about a simple sugary rose water syrup.  No. That would completely obscure the natural flavor of the carrot.  So, I searched far and wide (not really), and decided on maple syrup.  Why?  Because maple syrup lends itself beautifully to most foods.

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Heirloom Carrots with Maple-Clove Glaze

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 large bunch of heirloom carrots

2 tablespoon olive oil

1/3 cup real maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon powdered cloves

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/3 cup roasted walnuts, chopped

Cut leaves off of carrots.  Thoroughly wash carrots and pat dry.  Line a large making sheet with parchment paper.  Brush carrots with olive oil.  Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  While carrots are baking, combine maple syrup with powdered cloves and sea salt.  Remove carrots from oven, brush with half of the syrup mixture and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes (depending on size of carrots and preferred doneness).  Toast walnuts for 2 minutes in a skillet, tossing constantly.  Remove from heat, place walnuts onto cutting board and chop into smaller pieces.  Once carrots are cooked,  either keep them in a pan or transfer to a serving dish.  Drizzle with remaining maple syrup mixture and top with chopped walnuts.  Serve immediately.

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All photos on this site were taken by Sabrina S. Baksh and is property of Food as a Metaphor/Regarding BBQ, Inc.

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