Makes:2 to 4 servings
Why are baby carrots so often served in a sugar-laden sauce when roasting them brings out their natural sweetness? A quick roast and a toss in some mustard-laced butter and fresh herbs is all they need. Serve as is, with a salad, or as a side with this leg of lamb.
What to buy: Don’t confuse packaged baby-cut carrots, which are mature carrots whittled into a smaller “baby” size, with fresh green-topped baby carrots. True baby carrots are tender, immature carrots with their skin intact.
Game plan: If the baby carrots are small enough in diameter, you can leave them whole; if they’re thick, halve them lengthwise. Peeling them is optional, but make sure you give them a good scrub.
1 pound baby carrots (about 2 bunches), peeled (optional), green stems trimmed to 1/2 inch, and wispy carrot tips removed
2 teaspoonsolive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons coarse-grained mustard
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh herbs, such as dill, Italian parsley, chives, chervil, or tarragon
Heat the oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
Place the carrots on a baking sheet, drizzle with the oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to evenly coat. Roast, shaking the pan occasionally, until a knife easily pierces the carrots, about 10 to 15 minutes. (Smaller carrots will cook in less time.) Remove from the oven and set aside while you prepare the herbed mustard-butter.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat until foaming. Add the mustard and stir to combine. Add the roasted carrots and herbs and toss to coat the carrots in the butter mixture. Season with salt and pepper as needed.