Saturday, February 11, 2012

Balsamic Roasted Carrots with Feta / Goat Cheese and Rosemary

I'm not a fan of raw carrots, but I love them when they're roasted. Roasting them brings out their flavor, and when you add herbs and cheese, it's positively divine.

For awhile, I had been baking carrots and then mixing some feta cheese in after they were baked. One day, I decided to just toss the feta in with the carrots. I was thinking the feta might melt, making it a gooey but delicious mess. The result? The feta cheese retained their shape, but had an amazing crispiness on the outside and a complex smokey flavor that I just fell in love with.

I'm also obsessed with goat cheese. We had bought a bunch of it from Costco, so I decided to try and bake them with the goat cheese too. I was not disappointed at all. It tasted fantastic. So you can use either feta or goat cheese with these, whatever you prefer.

At first, I was just making these carrots with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Then, I started adding different spices. Thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil ... basically different combinations of the 40+ different spices I have. The best combination? Rosemary and paprika. I don't know why, it just works. I make these pretty much every day. I just stick them in the oven right before I start my workouts, and by the time I'm done my cool-down / stretching, they're done.



BALSAMIC ROASTED CARROTS WITH FETA / GOAT CHEESE AND ROSEMARY

What you'll need:
  • Couple of carrots
  • ~ 1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • ~1 tsp Olive oil
  • Feta or goat cheese
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • Black ground pepper (optional)
  • Slice of lemon (optional, sometimes I do this but it tastes great without the lemon too!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 360F or 180C. Cut up your carrots. You can cut them into circles like I did, or chop them like fries. If you like your carrots crispy on the outside (which I love), cut them smaller. Want them more tender but with a firmer bite? Make them a bit bigger. 
  2. Drizzle some balsamic vinegar and olive oil all over. Add the rosemary and paprika, and mix them all together with your hands until the carrots are well coated.
  3. If you cut them like fries, spread them out in a single layer on a pan lined with parchment paper (for easy cleanup) and then sprinkle the cheese over top. If you cut them into circles, spread them out in a single layer, then cut the cheese into pieces and them top each carrot piece with the cheese. You can make them as small or big as you want. It takes a bit longer this way, but it's worth it - trust me.
  4. Bake for about 25-40 minutes, depending on how big your pieces are, until the tops of the cheese are browning. I like my cheese extra crispy on the outside. 
  5. Sprinkle some black ground pepper on if you'd like, and squeeze a slice of lemon over the carrots if you opt to. 
These would be great as a side dish. I eat these as an appetizer, right after my workout, before a main protein dish. 

2 comments:

  1. Would love to try this but what you serve next to it (if I'm doing these as a side dish)?

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  2. great recipe!!!! I have leftover ribeye steak and twice baked potatoes io made for my dad for fathers day...
    I am bringing those to work tonight but felt i needed some other veggie side dish....
    at my apartment i had carrots, goat cheese, and the rosemary from fathers day i brought back (my parents dont cook)...
    i primarily use carrots for juicing with oranges... not a big fan of eating them raw...

    well, i entered my 3 ingredients into "search" and got this recipe!
    i added some slices of red onion and some corn, because i have them and want to use them...

    the recipe is great, i cut into circles... and cooked about 28min... i definitely next time will cook more around 40min (for my preferences)
    i love the rosemary and paprika combo... thanks for helping me make a great dish with the 3 random ingredients in my fridge :)

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