honey baked parisian carrots with orange + thyme

honey baked parisian carrots with orange + thyme | The Clever Carrot

I always feel like such a dork when I post carrot recipes. You know what I’m saying? ;)

But how on earth could I pass on these clever little things? According to the package, Parisian carrots are an heirloom variety originally grown throughout parts of Europe. They’re commonly known as Tonda di Parigi- carrots from France with an Italian mother (feisty!). Sounds like my genetics actually. Unlike baby carrots, Parisian carrots are not shaved or shaped; they grow just like the regular ones with big leafy tops. They are about the size of a small radish and are incredibly sweet. In the spring, you might spot a bunch at your local farmers market.

I bought mine frozen.

honey baked parisian carrots with orange + thyme | The Clever Carrot

The hardest part was figuring out what to do with these bright orange cuties. Soup? Stew? Roast? All I could think of was those J Crew bubble necklaces…

Instead, I prepared them à la Jamie Oliver, a method which involves steaming the carrots first and then roasting them off to finish. I flavor mine with fresh clementine juice and thyme. Once all of the liquid has evaporated and the carrots are cooked through, I drizzle them with honey for a lacquered glaze. It’s all done in one pan. They’re best served warm with a little extra olive oil and a dusting of flaky sea salt and black pepper.

See?

honey baked parisian carrots with orange + thyme | The Clever Carrothoney baked parisian carrots with orange + thyme | The Clever Carrot

When I plonked them onto the table, all I heard was are they melon balls? Why are they round? The boys immediately started to play with them, while the cats watched from a far with bewilderment. I’m quite positive they wanted to bat at them too- it was as if little orange weebles had invaded their territory! What an intriguing discovery for us all, really.

The best part is that when you slice them in half, the inside will reveal a heart-shaped center. It’s a good thing I have a picture of that, right? Ah, yes …the forgetful mind of a blogger. I guess you will have to see for yourself.

Tips:

  • If using frozen carrots, you do not need to defrost them beforehand. Cook straight from the freezer.
  • This recipe is not heavy on the orange flavor. Add a sprinkle of orange zest and/or orange blossom honey for an extra kick.
honey baked parisian carrots with orange + thyme
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. Parisian carrots
  • juice of 1 clementine, or 2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • 2-3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • olive oil
  • flaky sea salt (I used Maldon)
  • black pepper
  • runny honey
* If using frozen carrots, you do not need to defrost them beforehand. Cook straight from the freezer.
* Add a sprinkle of orange zest and/or orange blossom honey for extra orange flavor.
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F.
  2. Place the carrots into a baking dish in one single layer. I used an 8×8 pan, however a 9×13 would work as well.
  3. Add the orange juice and place the clementine halves into the pan for extra flavor.
  4. Add the thyme sprigs.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat.
  6. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake until the carrots are tender and the liquid has evaporated, about 10-12 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and discard the foil. Increase the heat to 450 F.
  8. Drizzle the carrots with honey and toss gently.
  9. Place back into the oven, uncovered, and roast until the carrots begin to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them so that they do not burn.
  10. To serve, drizzle lightly with olive oil and add extra salt and pepper to taste.

honey baked parisian carrots with orange + thyme | The Clever Carrot

sweet + salty snack mix

sweet + salty snack mix | The Clever carrot

Oftentimes, I forget to blog about the everyday things.

We make a lot of stuff in this house that never makes it to post. For example, my weekly chicken cutlets? Never blogged it. My baked salmon? Nope, not today. Oh, wait- how about my turkey meatballs with leeks and spinach? Exactly. Maybe it’s because these things are so routine I no longer find them interesting. But perhaps you will? This snack mix is the perfect example of common neglect. I make a batch every 1-2 weeks depending on how much we go through. We enjoy it by the handful.

I separate the mix into individual bags for on the go convenience.

sweet + salty snack mix | The Clever Carrot

All of the ingredients can be found at Trader Joe’s. And yes, I live in that store.

  • mini multiseed rice crackers
  • organic whole dried cranberries
  • roasted unsalted cashews
  • chocolate covered sunflower seeds

chocolate covered sunflower seeds | The Clever Carrotsweet + salty snack mix | The Clever Carrot

The multiseed crackers (those round things) are flavored with tamari which gives the mix that deep, salty flavor. They’re also gluten free. If you can’t find them, a similar sub would be those funky shaped oriental rice crackers. You could also use mini M&M’s for the chocolate covered sunflower seeds too. I combine everything together in one big dish and then portion it out accordingly. Altogether, I think it takes about 5 or 6 minutes. It’s great to have a healthy snack all set and ready to go for whenever you need it.

This is what I grab at 3 o’clock when I’m craving a little something. I’m a total sucker for salty + sweet.

Tips:

  • The measurements in this recipe are meant as a guide. Play around to suit your taste. 
  • I double checked the product section on the Trader Joe’s website, and all of the ingredients are gluten free.
5.0 from 1 reviews

sweet + salty snack mix
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 5½ cups
Ingredients
  • 1½ c. mini multiseed rice crackers (soy + tamari flavor)
  • 2 c. roasted unsalted cashews
  • 1 c. whole dried cranberries
  • 1 c. chocolate covered sunflower seeds.
*If you can’t find multiseed rice crackers, you can substitute with oriental rice crackers. You can also use mini M&M’s for the chocolate covered sunflower seeds.
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Make adjustments to suit your taste.
  2. Store in an airtight container or portion into snack size bags.

char-grilled chopped asparagus salad with smashed pita chips

char-grilled chopped asparagus salad with smashed pita chips | The Clever Carrot

I have the unfortunate ability to remember every meal that I’ve ever eaten.

It’s a curse really. I’m not sure how or when it all started (I blame genetics), but my brain is riddled with recipes. If I’ve ever dined with you, chances are I will remember what you ate too. Going back almost 7 years ago now, I had a version of this salad at a restaurant. It was so good. All it took was a bag of pita chips to trigger my memory and then this little creation was born.

For the base, I’m using fat asparagus stalks. They’re perfect for grilling and I prefer these to the skinny ones. It’s still too cold to grill outside, so I used my trusty old griddle pan to get the job done. That char-grilled flavor is worth smoking out the kitchen.

grilled asparagus | The Clever Carrot

Roasted peppers also make an appearance in this dish. I usually have 1 or 2 jars lying around in my pantry. Oh wait, I don’t have a pantry. I have jam packed, stuffed to the brim cabinets. That’s where they live. See how I use them here + here.

roasted peppers | The Clever Carrot

And then for my latest find, fresh mozzarella pearls. I’ve never seen these before in my life! For that reason, you probably won’t be able to find them either. It was a chance find in a grocery store that I never, ever shop in. They’re super cute, just the right size, and taste just as good as they look. Whole chopped mozzarella will work too.

fresh mozzarella pearls | The Clever Carrot

Too cute, right? Told you.

char-grilled chopped asparagus salad with smashed pita chips | The Clever Carrot

Oh, and the pita chips! You know, the crunchy smashed bits I forgot to photograph? Obviously the star of the show. I’m telling you, they are the best thing that has ever happened to a chopped salad.

Tips:

  • If you don’t keep an eye on them, it is very easy to overcook asparagus. It is best to undercook them slightly as they will continue to cook once removed from the grill. 
  • Everything can be prepped in advance, including the vinaigrette up to 2 days.
  • I like to use Stacy’s Pita Chips or Trader Joe’s brand. 
5.0 from 3 reviews

char-grilled chopped asparagus salad with smashed pita chips
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
Vinaigrette
  • ¼ c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ¼ garlic clove
  • ½ c. olive oil
Salad
  • 1 bunch medium- fat asparagus stalks
  • 1x 14 oz. can of chickpeas
  • ½ c. diced roasted peppers (I used red + yellow)
  • ¾ c. fresh mozzarella ‘pearls’ or whole mozzarella diced
  • olive oil
  • salt + pepper
Garnish
  • 2 handfuls of pita chips (I used Stacy’s brand)
  • ½ c. crumbled goat cheese
Instructions
  1. To make the vinaigrette, add all of the ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Trim the woody ends off of the asparagus. Add the stalks to a large bowl and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Season with salt + pepper.
  3. Warm a griddle pan or outdoor grill over moderate heat.
  4. Grill the asparagus until crisp tender, about 2-3 minutes per side depending on how thick they are. Transfer to a cutting board and dice into ½ inch pieces. *See note below.
  5. Rinse and drain the chickpeas.
  6. Remove the roasted peppers from the jar and pat dry with paper towels to remove the extra moisture. Dice into ½ inch pieces.
  7. To a large salad bowl, add the asparagus, chickpeas, and peppers.
  8. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss gently to combine.
  9. Taste the salad and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  10. Right before serving, add the mozzarella and crumbled goat cheese.
  11. Gently smash the pita chips and crumble over the top.
  12. Serve with extra vinaigrette on the side.
Notes
* If you don’t keep an eye on them, it is very easy to overcook asparagus. It is best to undercook them slightly as they will continue to cook once removed from the grill.

char-grilled chopped asparagus salad with smashed pita chips | The Clever Carrot