Serve warm as a side or chilled on a cheese plate, Maple-Roasted Cardamom-Spiced Carrots and Apples are slightly sweet, with just a hint of warm spices and herbs. Double the recipe to feed a small crowd. This recipe is vegetarian, vegan and gluten free.
Y’all, I’m in full Thanksgiving/Holiday mode! OMG. Already!?
It’s only five weeks until the start of holiday season, and although I’m not hosting, I still love all the holiday food this time of year brings. I’ve been preparing like mad so I can share fabulous recipes with y’all but am in need of a kitchen housekeeper. I’m cleaning more than I’m cooking! aaaack!
Get ready for holiday food from now until December 25! Any special requests? Tell me now!
I’ve been contemplating carrot tops for quite some time. Not really wanting to waste them, but I hadn’t been thinking about a way to use them. I hate food waste.
Through the summer and early fall, our CSA farm takes vegetable scraps for composting. They have chickens and turkeys that love discarded veggies, and there’s a system in place for handling compost. But we’re nearing the end of our CSA and I’ve got to do something with carrot tops other than throwing them out.
I understand they’re good for us too. So, I started putting them in smoothies. I didn’t get any scrunchy-nose looks from Rob either. Carrot tops are definitely not regular (his word) in our morning smoothies.
The Kitchn has accompanying resources about carrot greens.
Last week at the farm, I picked up a big bunch of carrots. I’d never seen such a beautiful bouquet in my life. They were the ideal size for roasting with minimal cutting or slicing. My inner lazy girl was speaking.
Apples and carrots are fabulous together. I sprinkled on cardamom, cinnamon and ginger to spice things up with finely chopped walnuts, a squeeze of lemon, and fresh herbs.
For the nuts and herbs, use what you have on hand. I used walnuts here, but pecans would be a delight too. My herb pots are still growing thyme and rosemary, so I tossed in a few teaspoonsful, chopped fine. Sage and/or parsley would be a delicious alternative.
For an easy holiday side that packs in a little sweet, crunch, and spice, carrots and apples are a delightful combination. Double the recipe to feed a small crowd.
Have you started preparing for the holidays? Are you hosting? What do you do with your carrot tops? Any tips?
More Holiday Sides to Love
- Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad w/ Honey-Orange Dressing
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pears and Thyme
- Roasted Beets
- Apple and Roasted Beet Salad with Apple Cider Dressing
Maple-Roasted Cardamom-Spiced Carrots and Apples
- 1/4 C Walnuts 25g
- 14 oz Carrots cut to similar thickness*, 400g
- 1 lb Apples your favorite variety, cut into thick wedges, 460g
- 1 1/2 Tbs Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 tsp Maple Syrup
- 1/4 tsp Cardamom ground
- 1/4 tsp Ginger ground
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon ground
- 2 tsp Fresh Mixed Herbs finely chopped, like thyme and rosemary, or sage and parsley
- Sea Salt to taste
- 1/4 Lemon juiced
- Preheat oven to 425F (220C) and place rack in upper third of oven. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
- Place walnuts in a pan and toast while the oven is preheating for about 15 minutes or until toasty and fragrant. Set aside to cool, then chop fine. Set aside.
- Toss carrots and apples with olive oil and maple syrup. Sprinkle with spices. Toss again to evenly distribute the spices. Spread the carrots and apples in an even layer, on each prepared sheet pan making sure not to crowd the carrots and apples. Roast for 20 minutes, gently flip the carrots and apples 1/2 way through roasting.Test to see if the carrots and apples need more time by checking for fork tenderness. I prefer tender crisp carrots. If more time is needed, give them another five or more minutes. Thicker carrots will need more time. Right out of the oven, sprinkle with lemon juice, toss with fresh herbs, toasted walnuts and season with sea salt.
- Serve immediately or chill and serve on a salad, as a snack or cheese plate.
May I ask: do you sprinkle the roasted walnuts on at the end, when you’re adding the lemon, sea salt and fresh herbs? Or do you put the walnuts in the oven with the carrots and apples? I hope you say the former because that’s what I’m trying! It’s not specified in your recipe, unless I missed it. Thanks very much!
Hi Kier! I’m sorry for the confusion. Toast them first, set aside, then sprinkle the roasted walnuts on at the end. I’ll update the recipe! Thank you for pointing that out!
My pleasure! Copy editor nerd at your service. That’s what I ended up doing and the dish turned out wonderfully. Can’t wait to serve it chilled this evening.
I SO appreciate that and I’m thrilled the recipe turned out!
Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Traci!! I am gearing up for my Christmas trip to England, and of course, I’m not ready to leave yet! I just saw your oatmeal cookies with whiskey currants recipe, and I can’t wait to try it there! I don’t think I”ll be able to find teff, but I’m sure I’ll find something that I can sub it with. Hope you are staying warm!
Hey Lisa! What fun… Christmas in England! Look for Teff where you find Bob’s Red Mill. I thought I’d have difficulty finding it, but have found at at two stores I shop on my Island home (I was surprised!). You’ll love those cookies, Lisa! It’s freezing here.. we just got a few flurries today :D .
This looks amazing! If anyone is better than me at sizing up, I’m going to make this for 30, not three! (I could use a little math help!) Thanks!
Oh. Nevermind. I got it…
Alexandra | Occasionally Eggs
Look at those adorable little carrots! I just love them. Apples + carrots + cardamom, oh my goodness, perfection. I am going to make this tomorrow with some chickpeas and I can’t wait.
Rachel @ Bakerita
This is such a beautiful dish, Traci! I love the combination of apples and carrot – a sweet side dish that I would most definitely gobble up :) I can’t believe it’s almost the holidays – I wish I was spending them at your table so I could have all your beautiful goodies!
Thank you Rachel! Hard to believe they’re almost here… I feel the pinch! : |
Karen @ The Food Charlatan
Loooove the cardamom in this Traci and these carrots are just GORGEOUS! I don’t think I’ve ever had carrot tops in my life! I should change that. My inner lazy girl is alive and kicking :) This needs to be on my Thanksgiving table!!
Thank you Karen.. Cardamom is a newish to be spice (in the past two years) but oh my, I’m like, where have you been all my life?!!? Try those carrot tops, Karen.. but first in a green smoothie. Glad to hear your in the lazy girl’s club.. I hear mine way too much! hehe!
Donna |The Hanging Spoon
Such a beautiful fall dish! I could easily eat this as my main course! Amazing use of color (and spices)…beautiful photography!
Hehe.. no doubt, this is so filling. I ate it chilled, for lunch the following day! Thank you Donna!
Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
This is such a gorgeous side dish, Traci! I love the hints of cardamom and cinnamon with all of the fresh herbs. Sounds so flavorful!
I also hate wasting food so I appreciate the tip for the carrot tops. I’ve been thankful for the organic bins that California provides us so I feel less guilty about things like that. I won’t have that anymore in Georgia though!
Oh organic bins are so convenient, Sarah! Seattle offers organic bins, but further North, where I live, we had to press the county for curb side recycling. Many fought it. So, we don’t have curbside composting, unfortunately. I’ve had a worm bin for years, but in the winter it goes dormant. Too bad Georgia doesn’t have curb side. It’s definitely something every state should be participating in.
I love all the photos in this blog post, and also the recipe! I have never used carrot tops before, but I think next time I will when I roast carrots :). This is the perfect thanksgiving side! Love it Traci :)
Thank you Amisha! :D I hope you enjoy the recipe!
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
Holiday sides are definitely my favorite part of the holidays, and these roasted carrots and apples would make the BEST addition! Aside from being stunning, this looks absolutely delicious, Traci!! Love the maple and all the spices (cardamom, cinnamon and ginger) you used in here sound just FABULOUS! I’m not hosting any holidays this year either, in fact we are going out to dinner. LOL. But these WILL be making an appearance on our table for a dinner sometime soon! Pinned! Cheers, lovely! xo
I LOL, Chey! We’re going out again this year too! Hooray! I really look forward to the extended time off … spending time with family and friends. I hope you enjoy the recipe my dear! Thank you for your pin!
Alida | Simply Delicious
What an awesome side dish. I looove roasted carrots and the addition of apples is simply genius!
Oh Traci, i have to make this! I love the beauty and humility of this seasonal pairing and would be genuinely delighted to discover it on a holiday table. My kind of food… Appreciate the simplicity too – especially during busy seasons when we’d probably all rather be spending time with loved ones than fussing in the kitchen. What a great way to kick off your holiday preps! Keep ’em coming sister (love your moody shots too by the way).
I figure nature knows best, so when it comes to pairings, I try to let the farm’s offerings guide my pallete. Apples are getting a lot of attention right now! Thank you for your note on moody… the light has changed dramatically and I’m finding challenged. :/
Kevin | Keviniscooking
Wow, just gorgeous photos Traci, love your eye! Fantastic use of spices and I love roasted apples with veggies, so good!
Thank you so much Kevin! :D
rebecca | DisplacedHousewife
Such a beautiful side dish Traci!! This would be gorgeous on a Thanksgiving table!!! I absolutely love this!! xoxo
Thank you, Rebecca! I was thinking the same thing.. So much color!
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
Love simply sides like this, Traci – so attractive and delicious! I read recently a recipe for roasted carrots where you use the carrot tops to make pesto. Love the addition of apples and the spices to the carrots! I’m so looking forward to Thanksgiving – my favorite holiday. Have a great weekend!
I’m going to have to give pesto a go… on Instagram, readers are sharing mixed reviews on the pesto, but I want to give it a go, just to see. Perhaps a small batch? Are you hosting Thanksgiving, Geraldine?
Simone | My Blueberry Basket
What wonderful photos, Traci and what a delicious recipe! The combination with the spices, nuts and herbs is fantastic. I’ll definitely try this as a side very soon! As for the greens, if had a bunch of green carrot tops I might try to make a pesto. I haven’t used them in a pesto before, but it might taste nice, with nuts, some good olive oil and parmesan cheese. I might give it a try one day and tell you how it actually tastes. ;)
All the best, Simone
Hiiii Simone! Thank you for your note! What a great idea, for pesto. I’d love to hear about it if you try it. I asked about it on Instagram and have gotten mixed reviews. Some love the carrot tops in pesto, others don’t. I wonder if it’s an acquired taste?
Abby @ Heart of a Baker
Ohh I’m ALL about the Thanksgiving food! I don’t love Halloween, but Thanksgiving is where it’s at for me :) These are so perfect, combining two of my favorite fall produces! Plus, maple syrup never hurt a roasted veggie, so good!
I don’t do Halloween – at all, save place pretty pumpkins on my porch, uncarved. I love Thanksgiving too!! SO much, but I’ve not cooked for it in the past few years. :D I figure I cook SO much throughout the year, I love a good break! And what’s not to love about a super long weekend and being a bit lazy!? I love these two produces (is that a word? LOL) together too! :D
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
I totally agree Traci! Sounds like an absolutely wonderful combination! I’m always looking for new recipes that include cardamon, one of my favorite spices. Can’t wait to try! Happy weekend! And YAY for Rob for eating those carrot tops!! Lovely photos as usual!!
The cardamom really comes through in s subtle way, Mary Ann. I love it so much too!
The cardamom has me happy, too! Sometime you should try this: mix powdered cardamom and a tiny drizzle of rose water into a mug/bowl of good vanilla ice cream. Add some fresh sliced strawberries. It is heaven. (I’m sure this would work with creamed coconut for a vegan version, or any vegan vanilla ice cream.)
I should have added, thank you for this inspiring recipe & pictures, Traci. Gorgeous, & has me wanting to cook! Can’t wait to try this.