I feel like Thanksgiving gets much more attention when it comes to a holiday meal.
Everyone is concerned about side dishes and how they should prepare the turkey, or should this be the year they don’t prepare a turkey at all.
Christmas and New Year’s dinner rarely seem to be discussed. Is this because traditions are already set and rarely change? Pasta, Seven Fishes, ham, and tamales come to mind. Or is it that these holidays are all about the cookies and cocktails?
Well, amidst all the baking this year, I decided to throw in a side dish. And if you are more in line with desserts this time of year, despite this being a vegetable, it could very well fall into that category.
Every now and then my husband reminds me to make brown sugar and cayenne bacon. If you’ve never tried it, it makes an excellent blend of sweet, salty, and spicy.
So I decided to try a side dish version in the form of carrots with a few nutty pecans on top. No bacon, but now that I think about it, you could add it I suppose.
I’ve been crazy about rainbow carrots this year so I thought they’d add a festive twist to the dish.
The carrots roast to become tender and coated with a sweet and spicy glaze. The toasted nuts add a nice balance and crunch.
It’s very easy to pull together and provides a side dish that needs little attention as it roasts in the oven.
Brown Sugar Cayenne Roasted Rainbow Carrots
Makes 4 to 6 servings
What you’ll need:
4 cups sliced rainbow carrots
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons chopped raw pecans
How to make it:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Add the carrots to a medium bowl and pour in the melted butter. Add the brown sugar, cayenne, and salt. Stir well to coat with the butter and seasonings.
Pour the carrots out onto a baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Sprinkle with the pecans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir. Bake for 10 more minutes and stir again. Bake for a remaining 2 to 3 minutes until the carrots are tender. Watch it closely the last few minutes to make sure the sugar does not burn. Stir well and then transfer to a serving bowl, being sure to top the carrots with any remaining glaze on the baking sheet.