Ina’s Maple-Roasted Carrot Salad

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My friend Jessica surprised me on a particular stressful week with Ina Garten’s new book, Cooking for Jeffery. To say I have the most thoughtful friends in the universe is an understatement. It was just the thing I needed. I literally crawled into bed that night to escape and indulge in recipes. The book is full of delicious ideas and recommendations (I’ll actually be posting about cookbooks this season very very soon) and includes her recipe for Maple Roasted Carrot Salad.

The salad is colorful, festive, perfect for winter and most of all, delicious! We enjoyed this salad on Thanksgiving. It will certainly be made again for other cold nights this winter. Serve it along side of a simple roasted meat or as an addition to soup night!

Ina’s Maple-Roasted Carrot Salad

  • 2 pounds carrots, preferably with leafy tops
  • Good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup pure Grade A maple syrup
  • ⅔ cup dried cranberries
  • ⅔ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2 oranges)
  • 3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane
  • 6 ounces baby arugula
  • 6 ounces goat cheese, such as Montrachet, medium-diced
  • ⅔ cup roasted, salted Marcona almonds

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Trim and scrub the carrots. If the carrots are more than 1 inch in diameter, cut them in half lengthwise. Cut the carrots in large diagonal slices 1 inch wide × 2 inches long (they will shrink when they roast) and place in a medium bowl with ¼ cup of olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Toss well and transfer to two sheet pans. (If you use just one, they’ll steam instead of roasting.) Roast for 20 minutes, tossing once, until the carrots are tender. Transfer all the carrots to one of the sheet pans, add the maple syrup, toss, and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until the edges are caramelized. Watch them carefully! Toss with a metal spatula and set aside for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the cranberries and orange juice in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer, then set aside for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Place the arugula in a large bowl and add the carrots, cranberries (with their liquid), goat cheese, almonds, and the vinaigrette. Toss with large spoons, sprinkle with salt, and serve at room temperature.

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