The oven is such a good friend of busy people who like to eat well and healthy. I love recipes where you just toss everything in the oven and maybe check up on it once or twice, kneeing down, standing in front of the glass door illuminated by the warm oven light, like when being a child, smelling the aromas of the inside in excited anticipation for dinner. Perhaps roasted carrots with potatoes and fava. Pure joy! While your lunch or dinner is roasting you can do something else. I often use that time to prepare and perhaps eat a salad. Sometimes I also finish a small task. Especially in colder months, it’s incomparably comforting to have warm, soft and nourishing veg lined up for you on the baking tray! Carrots and potatoes are two of my favourite foods to roast in the oven…
When roasted, carrots reveal their inherent sweetness! In addition to that sweetness, we round up with fava beans, which are also sweet, and give it a base with potatoes. I like to add miso to oven-roasted potatoes, be it dark or light. The resulting umami will knock you off your socks! Finally, we finish with herbs. So let’s go with some beautifully roasted carrots with potatoes and fava beans.
The Carrot and its Greens
I love oven carrots, who doesn’t. But what about the greens? People have asked me if you can eat them… Yes, you can. It would be a shame if you found some beautiful carrots with greens and don’t know what to do with the greens. Let’s zero-waste the heck out of them! If you leave them on the carrot they will keep for 1-2 weeks, depending on the temperature. They have a pretty fibrous stalk and the leaves are tougher than your usual salad greens. Their flavour reminds of parsley with earthy notes of carrot. That’s why we can use them similarly. As for the stalks, we can use their texture for some crunch or consistency after chopping them finely – or for a stock of course.
Are carrot greens good to eat?
Carrot greens are not only edible but packed with nutrients. Their dark green colour signals high chlorophyll content which is acting as an antioxidant in our body.
How to Use Carrot Greens
1. Add the leaves to a stew or stir-fry to give it a green, nutritious kick.
2. Separate and process the leaves in a blender to make a smoothie (dried apricots are a delicious match!) or pesto.
3. Separate the leaves from the stalk, chop them roughly if you like and sprinkle over any vegetable dish or soup, like a Mediterranean Millet Pilaf or hummus.
4. Finely chop the stalks and add them to oven veggies, to a stew or a stir-fry.
5. Add to a salad like a Traditional Turkish Mung Bean Salad or Mediterranean Cauliflower Couscous.
6. Here are more ideas.
Ottolenghi and Fava Beans
There is the question of whether you should shell fava beans. Here is what chef Ottolenghi says about shelling fava beans: “You can look at shelling fava beans two ways: either as a great big bother not worth doing, or as something wonderfully therapeutic to do with the radio or
music on.” I really prefer the first perspective pretty much any given time. To me, every minute in the kitchen needs to have a really good purpose. Let’s be real, we don’t have much time for cooking. Though, not just because I am a very minimalistic cook but also because you can roast the skin so it creates beautiful colour and umami flavours.
The Good Kind of Carrots
Everyone immediately tastes the difference between the kind of carrots that taste as if calling “I’m a carrot!”. Those usually still have their tops and a small root. If you can choose individually, prefer young carrots as they are sweeter. The quality of carrots is often measured by the sugar content. I briefly worked at a high-quality organic farm that produced sweet baby carrots and sold them to produce-focused Michelin-star restaurants. They tasted amazing! However, if you don’t have any good quality carrots available you can also achieve great flavours with a bit of honey or your favourite syrup and a splash of vinegar. Moreover, if you find purple, yellow or black carrots you can spread a beautiful gamut of colours on your baking tray. Right, let’s roast some carrots, potatoes and fava beans!
Roasted Carrots with Potatoes and Fava Beans
- 7 carrots, halved lengthwise
- 5 purple carrots, halved lengthwise (if you find them)
- 6 medium-sized potatoes, cut thinly lengthwise
- 3 spring onions, chopped
- 1 cup fresh or cooked fava beans
- a few generous pinches fresh or dried herbs: oregano, thyme, rosemary…
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ generous tbsp miso
- salt, pepper
- parsley and/or carrot greens (I used both)
- Preheat the oven to 355 °F / 180 °C.
- Combine the potatoes with the miso, some salt, pepper, herbs and olive oil.
- In a baking tray mix the rest of the ingredients. Feel free to add honey and a splash of vinegar/pomegranate molasses.
- Add the potatoes and bake for 30 min.
- Top with the greens! Enjoy!