Steamed or boiled vegetables can often taste quite bland and for this reason many people add flavour to their vegetables by smothering them in butter and salt or by adding rich sauces. These sauces can contain lots of cream, butter, cheese and even refined sugar. Obviously this isn't the healthiest of ways to add flavour to vegetables and can often cancel out the goodness of the vegetables we are eating. Coming up to Christmas, we usually give ourselves a little bit of a break on the diet front and tend to over indulge by eating lots of rich biscuits, cakes, choclates etc. However, very often we tend to over indulge even when it comes to savoury foods, cooking our vegetables in rich sauces that are often devoid of nutritional value and that leave us feeling sluggish and bloated.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to cook our vegetables in ways that are super tasty, simple to do and best of all don't involve smoothering our vegetables with rich and often unhealthy sauces and dressing.
Today's recipe is a good example of this. Carrots are one of the most widely available and inexpensive vegetables in Ireland. I usually eat them raw with hummus, make them into some sort of raw pad thai dish or make a carrot soup. However, these roasted carrots with gremolata work really well especially as you may want to take things up a notch when it comes to your vegetables for the Christmas season.
Gremolata is an Italian dressing and couldn't be simper. No exotic or hard to source ingredients here. It's made with parsley, olive oil, garlic and lemon and then seasoned with salt and pepper.
Small bunch of parsley
Rind of a lemon
1 clove of garlic
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper to season
Wash and peel the carrots. Cut in half lengthways. Using one tablespoon of olive oil, brush the carrots with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in a roasting tray and roast in the oven at gas mark 5 / 190 degrees celsius for 40 minutes, turning half way through.
To make the gremolata, add the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until combined into a dressing. If you don't have a food processor, you can finely chop the parsley and garlic and mix them with the oil and lemon rind.
Once the carrots are roasted, remove from the oven and place on a serving dish and drizzle with the gremolata dressing. Serve immediately.