You can’t go wrong with glazed vegetables. It’s a surprisingly simple way to start with plain vegetables and transform them into something magical.
The vegetables stay crisp, yet tender; and the subtly sweet glaze makes you want to take another bite (and another, and another).
The classic French approach to glazing involves a saucepan, water, and just the right amount of butter and sugar. The results are delicious, but I’ve been hankering for a method that yields similar results – without the gobs of butter and processed sugar.
This easy hands-off method, that lets the oven to do most of the work, is the way to go. While orange, purple, and golden rainbow carrots roast until tender, a simple maple syrup and balsamic vinegar glaze bubbles away on the stove.
The syrup adds natural sweetness, and rich balsamic vinegar adds the perfect amount of zing. What you’re really doing by cooking the glaze over the stove is helping the mixture reduce through evaporation.
When balsamic vinegar is reduced, it forms a thick and slightly sticky glaze that’s perfect for brushing over oven-roasted veggies. It’s also delicious drizzled over bruschetta, grilled meats, strawberries, or salads.
I like to use rainbow-colored heirloom carrots for this recipe because they make this dish feel even more special. Look for small heirloom carrots with their tops still attached, but if you can’t find them, colorful baby carrots (pictured) are very pretty, too.
If you can’t get your hands on any heirloom carrots, regular orange ones work just as well.
Roasted Rainbow Carrots With Maple Glaze
These roasted carrots stay crisp, yet tender; and the subtly sweet glaze makes you want to take another bite (and another, and another).
- Parchment paper
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 lbs. small rainbow heirloom carrots (or baby carrots), scrubbed, tops trimmed to ½-inch, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil
- ½ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt), divided use
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper, divided use
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup (preferably dark amber)
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
Preheat oven to 450º F.
Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly coat with spray. Set aside.
Combine carrots, oil, ¼ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper in a large bowl; toss gently to blend.
Spread evenly on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, rotating pan once, or until carrots are crisp.
While carrots are baking make glaze. Combine maple syrup, vinegar, cumin, remaining ¼ tsp. salt, and remaining ¼ tsp. pepper in small saucepan. Bring to a boil, over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low; gently boil for 15 to 20 minutes, or until glaze has thickened. Remove from heat.
Pour glaze over carrots; toss gently to blend. Bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until carrots are tender-crisp, and glaze is shiny.
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Makes a great veggie side as part of lunch or dinner.
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