On New Year's Eve of....last year? this year? how do we describe this? the one that just happened. Let's start again.
The last time we had a New Year's Eve, Jay and I went to a fancy dinner with our best friends. It was excellent. Will was just a few weeks old, we felt free, and the food was fabulous.
The dinner was one of those "four courses choose one thing each course" fixed price special event dealios, and for most of the courses we each chose different stuff so we could try everything. And almost without fail, the vegetables were the best things on the table. I'm talking pate vs a raw cauliflower thing, greens vs pork belly - on paper, the meat stuff should have been the best.
So we commented on this a few times, and my friend Emily said "you can always tell how a restaurant really is by how they treat their vegetables. and it is SO true. Vegetables should be the star of the show, not an afterthought to meat. In theory, everything should be cooked well, but I really like my sides to be EXCELLENT. I love when fancy places have a vegetable plate as an entree and almost always order it, because I prefer good sides over Big Meat every day.
So today! We are roasting carrots with bacon, and treating them right. This recipe couldn't be simpler; the bacon roasts in the oven right along with the carrots so we only use one pan and the carrots and bacon cook in almost the same amount of time.
I use these pre-cut carrots that I see at Trader Joe's every once in awhile because I think they're so pretty. You can use baby carrots or thin regular carrots for this recipe - if your carrots are really wide you can cut them in half or just cook them for a bit longer.
Onto a baking sheet we have the carrots with a little bit of oil (not much because we'll get more from the bacon), salt, pepper, sugar, and chopped raw bacon.
We roast the carrots at 425F for 15 minutes, then give the pan a good shake, and 10 more minutes in the oven. DONE.
I topped these with scallions and torn basil leaves for some brightness and freshness to offset the sweet carrots and roasty, salty bacon. The balance of flavors here is SO good, and this is what I mean when I say we're treating our vegetables right.
Because I find that when vegetables are prepared like THIS I want to eat way more of them. And that's a good thing, not having to force the healthy stuff. Beck was super into these as well; she really liked picking which color of carrot she got and hunting through for the bacon pieces. Kid friendly vegetable alert!
Add these to your "what should go with this frozen chicken" rotation - they're delicious!
Roasted Carrots with Bacon
- 1 pound small carrots
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 slices raw bacon chopped
- 1 scallion thinly sliced
- torn basil leaves for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Arrange the carrots in one layer on a baking sheet, and toss with the oil.
- Sprinkle the carrots with the salt, sugar, and pepper. Scatter the bacon pieces over the carrots.
- Roast the carrots and bacon for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and shake the pan to toss. Roast for 10 minutes more until the bacon is cooked and the carrots are tender.
- Sprinkle the carrots with the scallion and basil leaves. Serve!