Olive Oil Braised Carrots with Warm Spices

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In the same issue of Fine Cooking magazine that featured the Olive Oil Braised Leeks I posted here last week, they had this recipe as well. I was a little wary of the cinnamon and nutmeg, but I put my faith in Fine Cooking and figured I’d try it “their” way before I started playing with the recipe. Turns out, their way is awfully good! I have made these several times, and still haven’t bothered to doctor up the recipe. It’s perfect just the way it is.

Olive Oil Braised Carrots with Warm Spices

1½ lbs carrots (about 10 small), peeled and halved lengthwise (if large, quartered lengthwise so all pieces are about the same size)
3 medium cloves garlic, sliced
½ C low-salt* chicken or vegetable broth
¼ C extra-virgin olive oil
¼ t ground cinnamon
¼ t ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cayenne
½ t Kosher salt (*use only ¼ t if using “regular-salt” instead of low-salt broth)

Preheat oven to 375°F and place a rack in the middle position. Place the carrots in a single layer in a baking dish large enough to fit them all snugly (a 9×13-inch dish should work well). Nestle the sliced garlic evenly among the carrots. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the broth, olive oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne; drizzle this mixture over the carrots. Sprinkle evenly with the salt and cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil.

Cook the carrots until they are completely tender and easy to pierce with a fork, about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to cook until the spices on top have toasted and browned, and the carrots look a little shiny, about 15 minutes more. Serve the carrots warm or at room temperature.

Variations: mix things up a bit by substituting any of the flavored extra virgin olive oils at The Olive Grove.

Original recipe here.

Step by Step Details

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Start by peeling the carrots (see my Quick Tip for a quick and fun way to do this. Yes, really.).  Then line them all up and lop off their heads.

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Cut them in half lengthwise. For really large carrots, quarter them. You want them all about the same size/thickness. Hold the carrots very carefully once you get the knife involved, and keep your fingers out of the way.

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Place the carrots snugly in a baking dish.

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In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the broth, olive oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne.

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Drizzle this mixture over the carrots, and nestle the sliced garlic evenly among the carrots.

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Sprinkle evenly with salt, and then cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil.

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Cook until the carrots are completely tender and easy to pierce with a fork, about 45 minutes.

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Remove the foil and continue to cook until the spices on top have toasted and browned, and all (or most) of any remaining liquid has evaporated, about 15-20 minutes more.

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Serve the carrots warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

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