Thankfully, winter vegetables can be stored for quite some time, so I've been able to slowly drag out my last few shares of crops. In fact, I've been making tons of velvety blended butternut squash soup (a fantastic umami version where I add bacon and mushroom essence to my standard recipe), roasting winter squash, making beautiful salads with my watermelon radish, and roasting purple cabbage with bacon (delicious, by the way).
I still had tons of carrots left, so I experimented with food "art" using some of my fatter carrots. Yes, that is a Totoro carrot. Hee hee, I had lots of fun making all sorts of character-based dishes for my birthday (see entire themed meal here).
But even after that, I still had carrots left.
They turned out to be absolutely amazing. They sort of remind me of a healthy version of sweet potato fries. They are sweet and almost creamy on the inside, yet nice and crispy on the outside. The roasting caramelizes the sugar inside the carrot, intensifying the flavors. Honestly, I find them quite addictive.
Even though I had planned on trying the complicated (yet supposedly incredible) Modernist Cuisine at Home version of carrot soup, I ended up using up all my carrots making these fun carrot "fries."
These make a great snack and can be made in small portions in the convection toaster oven, which is what I do a lot (I love my convection toaster oven, which heats up really fast!). I just chop up a few carrots, throw them in the convection toaster oven (which only takes like 3-4 minutes to warm up to 450 degrees!), and within 20 minutes, I have myself some amazing carrots fries.
The smaller you cut your fries, the shorter the cooking time. I find it took about 20-25 minutes to make reasonable thick ¼ to ⅓ inch fries. I would totally consider trying to bake thinner, "shoestring" fries, which might only take like 10 minutes. My biggest piece of advice is not to stray too far from the oven, because these DO burn and they aren't that good once they are blackened beyond recognition. 🙂
3-4 Carrots, cut about ¼ inch thick, 2-3 inches long (like fries)
~ 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat convection toaster oven (or normal oven) on the convection bake setting to 450º F. Cut up carrots into sticks that are as similar as possible in width and length. This ensures even cooking. If you have really small carrots, you can roast them whole. Toss with enough vegetable oil to lightly coat the carrots (about 1 tablespoon). Add salt and pepper to taste.
Roast for about 20-25 minutes, checking the oven after about 10 minutes to stir the fries (in case your oven does not heat evenly).
When the fries are golden brown and slightly crisp remove and eat right away.
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