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The bounty of the Thanksgiving Table depends in part in having a flotilla of side dishes. You won’t need more meat than the turkey, but beyond the mashed potatoes there wonderful vegetable ideas to enjoy. Carrots are something we often overlook. Or undercook. Or overcook. That carrot flavor may be something you like or turn your nose up. So “veggie” tasting, so strong!

Here’s a way to transform carrots into something refined and spicy and memorable. There are 19 ingredients here. Exceptional food does not come easy. But once you have sampled these carrots, you’ll be back for second on your plate. And probably planning on this dish for many holiday meals to come.

Roasted Orange Spiced Carrots

Yield: serves 8


  • 4 bunches baby carrots, scrubbed or peeled
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dill seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper corns
  • 2 bay leaves, broken into pieces
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 small dried red chili, or more to taste
  • ¼ cinnamon stick
  • 4 large shallots, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, washed and sliced into wafers
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste, sambal, or sriracha adding more to taste
  • Juice and zest of 2 oranges
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 scallions finely sliced


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Trim carrots and cut any thicker carrots lengthwise so they are all about the same thickness. Toss with half the olive oil and salt to taste. Spread in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender and slightly charred around the edges.

While the carrots are roasting, toast the cumin, caraway, dill, peppercorns, bay leaves, star anise, chili, and cinnamon in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Don’t let the spices burn. Grind it all in a spice grinder until finely ground.

Heat the remaining oil over medium high heat in a skillet large enough to hold the carrots. Add the shallots and celery, and cook until they are just beginning to brown. Add the garlic and half the spice mixture (reserving the rest for another use) and cook for about a minute. Pour in the juices and let cook until slightly thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning. If the sauce gets too thick add some water.

Add the carrots to the sauce. Sprinkle over the zests and scallions and toss gently to coat. Taste again and adjust seasoning.

Source: Chef David Domedion at Cooking by the Book

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for1/50th second at ISO‑640