A vibrant dish, both in color and flavor, is exactly what you need on your Thanksgiving table. Tender carrots roasted with an orange, honey and balsamic glaze, topped with a nutty breadcrumb streusel for an epic holiday side. Sweet and savory!
If you think that carrots are too commonplace to have a seat at the holiday table, think again! When roasted like this, tossed in a just slightly sweetened glaze, they’ve got “star of the show” written all over ’em. Okay, maybe they won’t steal the thunder from that giant bird expertly carved in the center of the table, but they are a gorgeous, colorful side which brings beauty and flavor to your meal!
We might stop right there at the orange, honey and balsamic glaze- but these beauts are made even more irresistible with a sprinkling of my breadcrumb streusel… pan-toasted breadcrumbs combined with lemon, garlic, coriander, parmigiano, and hazelnuts. Mmmm.
Each component of the topping adds subtle complexity to the dish, but my favorite part of the streusel has got to be the hazelnuts.
If I had to pick one nut to eat the rest of my life, hazelnuts would win hands down. With their buttery, earthy flavor, they add so much depth to whatever they touch, sweet or savory.
Here, working in harmony with the lemon, garlic and parm, they provide crunch and bring these tender honey-glazed carrots to perfection.
For most dishes I make for Thanksgiving, I want to be able to prep ahead. My roasted carrots fit the bill. Read below for how to get organized.
And it goes without saying that though these carrots are perfect for T-day, they’re just as lovely served alongside a simple roasted chicken on any other night of the year!
How can I make these roasted carrots ahead of time?
- Roast the carrots in the morning, or up to a day ahead, then place them in a dish or serving platter that can be reheated, and refrigerate. Warm in a low oven (about 200 F) for 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Make the topping, but don’t add the cheese. Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet and warm alongside the carrots to recrisp, then let cool slightly before adding the cheese. Sprinkle on the warm carrots.
Honey Thyme Roasted Carrots with Toasted Hazelnut, Breadcrumb & Parmigiano Streusel
For the carrots:
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 bunches small carrots with stems about 2 pounds
- 10-15 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper about a teaspoon
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
For the topping:
- ¼ cup hazelnuts
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ⅓ cup freshly grated parmigiano
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 small garlic clove grated finely
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat your oven to 375 F. Scrub the carrots clean, trim the stems (leaving about an inch for a decorative look), then place them on a baking sheet. Toss the carrots with the thyme sprigs, salt, pepper and olive oil and place in the oven. Roast for 30 minutes, shaking the pan a few times during baking, until the carrots are soft and tender, and just beginning to brown. Mix the honey, orange juice and vinegar together, then pour over the carrots and roast for another 5 minutes, or until it forms a thick glaze on the carrots. Remove from the oven.
- While the carrots are roasting, toast the hazelnuts. You can do this in the skillet that you will toast the breadcrumbs in in step 3, or in the hot oven with the carrots. If oven-roasting, place them on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven for 8-10 minutes, then remove and when cool enough to handle, rub off as much of their skins as possible. If toasting in the skillet, place them over medium heat in the dry skillet and cook for 10 minutes, shaking the pan frequently, until the skins begin to loosen and the hazelnuts become toasty. Either method, remove from the heat and let cool.
- Chop the hazelnuts finely, then add to a small bowl with the parmigiano, coriander, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic clove and salt.
- Pour the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring, until they are browned and toasted. Let them cool down, then pour into the bowl and combine with the hazelnut mixture.
- To serve, place the carrots on a platter and top with half of the breadcrumb mixture. Serve warm, or at room temperature, passing extra topping at the table.