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Roasted Carrots with Cheese and Quick Candied Nuts

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In this recipe, we go back to basics, because not everything at the holiday table needs to have a long list of hard-to-find ingredients to be delicious! With a smattering of crumbled creamy cheese, these roasted carrots and candied nuts make for a perfect and simple side dish.

We used pecans in this photo, but hazelnuts and walnuts will also work well. The best way to store nuts to keep them fresh and crunchy for longer is in an airtight container away from direct sunlight. But if it’s a little too late, candying your nuts can make them crunchy and addictively delicious again. 

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ lbs carrots, roughly chopped into 1-2-inch pieces 
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar (maple syrup or honey would also work)
  • 4 tbsp Imperfect Foods Unsalted Butter, cut into slices
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp Imperfect Foods Ground Cinnamon
  • 5 ounces creamy cheese, like goat cheese or feta
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, to garnish 

Candied Nuts

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar (or maple syrup or honey)
  • 1 ½ cups nuts (pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts work well)
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp vanilla  

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Add nuts and stir continuously for 2-3 minutes, to lightly toast.
  3. Add brown sugar (or maple syrup/honey) to the nuts and stir for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in salt, water and vanilla. 
  4. Remove nuts from heat and spread evenly on one of the lined baking sheets and bake for 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.  
  5. Increase oven temperature to 425℉.
  6. Place chopped carrots on one of the baking sheets in a single layer. Sprinkle brown sugar (or maple syrup/honey) and place slices of butter evenly around the carrots. Sprinkle salt, pepper and cinnamon all over the carrots.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the carrots are fork tender. Rotate the baking sheet halfway through.
  8. Place cooked carrots on a serving dish and sprinkle evenly with candied nuts and crumbled cheese. Garnish with thyme leaves. 

Recipe Notes and Variations

4 Comments

  • Tiffany Christina Vickers
    November 10, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    This sounds amazing! I am totally going to make this one!

    Reply
    • Imperfect Foods
      November 18, 2021 at 12:29 pm

      Woohoo! We can’t wait to hear what you think 😋

      Reply
  • Sal
    November 18, 2021 at 8:02 pm

    Can the candied pecans be made ahead?

    Reply
    • Imperfect
      November 23, 2021 at 10:45 am

      Definitely! 💚

      Reply

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