Whether serving as a side or the main event, these red miso maple roasted carrots are dressed for success and mass consumption.
Going to the supermarket, I am always surprised and not a little bemused at the perfectness of the fresh produce. Row upon row of perfectly formed, buffed to perfection apples, tomatoes and carrots shimmering beneath the unforgiving glare of fluorescent lights. When did our desire for all things beautiful go from botox and bum lifts to perfectly symmetrical vegetalia (not a word but probably should be)? Is this really what we want or is it what the supermarket thinks we want? We buy it, so clearly they’re on to something.
Like everybody, I supermarket shop but given the choice I can’t go past the gnarl. I love the lopsided, bumpy, pimply surfaces of organic or market produce. Do the dents and bumps change the flavour of the produce? No. Does the asymmetry affect the nutritional value? Hardly. Are they sometimes harder to chop? Totally, but that’s half the fun -working out how to julienne a knot shaped carrot; it’s a culinary Rubix Cube. Funky fruit and veg has character and spunk. Who doesn’t love a potato that looks like the late Telly Savalas? I picked up these heirloom carrots at our local organics store and while there were no knots, there were bumps and pimples aplenty. Like most of us, they scrubbed up pretty good with a good bath and brush.
While inspiration rained at the sight of these orange and purple lovelies, I decided to create a recipe with things we had in the house already. The Husband has been experimenting with vegan kimchi and we had a tub of red miso left from his adventures and so red miso maple roasted carrots was inspired. Red miso is typically made from fermented soy beans with barley or other grains and fermented for longer than its yellow and white brothers. Used with abandon, the flavour can be Overwhelming with a capital O. Go easy, pilgrim.
As I wanted to take advantage of the carrot’s natural sweetness I used the miso sparingly, two tablespoons, and added a touch of maple. Tossed in fresh ginger, roasted in miso maple marinade and sprinkled with a smattering of toasted sesame seeds these red miso maple roasted carrots are ready for their moment in the spotlight, bumpy bits and all.
I paired our carrots with a good dollop of savoury cashew cream but I think they would be wonderful tossed through a cup of cooked quinoa or couscous to make a warm roast salad. Either as a main or as a side, these red miso maple roasted carrots are slightly salty, slightly sweet and a little nutty; perfectly bumpy and perfectly delicious.
Red Miso Maple Roasted Carrots
- 600 grams mixed carrots cleaned but not peeled
- 2 tablespoons red miso paste (less depending on your taste
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1-2 tablespoon water to thin out glaze if required
- 1 inch ginger thumb grated or finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter or regular or coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds toasted in a dry pan
- a handful chopped fresh parsley
- pinch sea salt
- Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.
- Sort mixed carrots and slice thicker ones in half lengthways.
- In a medium bowl stir together the miso paste, maple syrup, vegetable oil and water. Set aside.
- Heat a fry pan and melt butter.
- Sautée ginger for about a minute and throw in carrots.
- Continue cooking for 5 minutes, keeping the carrots moving.
- Lightly oil a roasting pan and place carrots in or use the fry pan if oven proof. Season with sea salt.
- Roast for 10 minutes.
- Remove carrots from the oven and pour over as much miso glaze as needed.
- Return to oven for 20 minutes or until cooked through (don't overcook)
- Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve with fresh parsley.