The next in our series of Healthy Thanksgiving Sides is one you might not readily think of when planning your menu. Green beans seem to be the vegetable of choice on the big day (at least if the empty bins at the grocery store are any indication). Brussels sprouts are probably the universal second choice. Nonetheless, this roasted carrots dish deserves a spot on your table, especially if you are traveling to Thanksgiving and need to make your dish in advance.
To make this, baby carrots are roasted in a sweet glaze of brown sugar and orange marmalade and then tossed with toasted sliced almonds and fresh parsley for a dish that holds its own next to turkey and mashed potatoes.
If you do make this in advance, don’t add the almonds and parsley until the last minute!
Roasted Carrots with Orange Glaze and Toasted Almonds
adapted from Cook’s Illustrated: The Best Make-Ahead Recipes
3 pounds baby carrots
1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar
1/3 cup orange marmalade
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
salt & freshly ground pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Toast almonds in advance. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring often. Watch closely and remove from oven as soon as they are golden.
2. For carrots: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place oven rack on lowest position so that you can use the upper part of your oven for another dish. Spray a nonstick rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Spread the carrots over the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar, marmalade, butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cayenne pepper. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake on lower rack, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes or until the butter is melted and the sauce is bubbling.
3. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender and glazed, about 20-30 minutes.
4. Transfer to a serving bowl and stir in the almonds and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.