Roasted Carrots and Asparagus with Almond Gremolata


When I have a family dinner, what to serve for vegetables is sometimes an issue. I have one who won't eat Broccoli or Cauliflower, so if I serve those I always have to do some frozen corn or something as well.  Everyone seems to have a preference.

I love almost every single vegetable there is, enjoy mixing it up. One of my favs is Roasted Vegetables with Maple Balsamic Vinegar. You can see this recipe HERE.  It's my own invention. The veggies can be roasted ahead of time and then warmed and drizzled with the vinegar as people sit down to eat and it has a wonderful aroma and flavour. My mix of veggies is wild, so this isn't everyone's fav.

This family dinner I threw caution to the wind and decided to go with something old and something new - not a corn kernel in site. For old, I chose to offer dark beets which I adore. Sometimes I roast them, but this time I just simmered them whole on top of the stove in a deep pan of water. Then I let them cool on the counter top, peeled and diced them, and reheated at serving time with a dash of butter, salt and pepper.  I was shocked to discover that of the 11 people there, only 2 people weren't interested and several people actually loved them. WOW. My pickier eaters surprised me. I'll be making them again and a bigger batch as there wasn't any left by the end.

These are what the carrots I found at Costco looked like,
but they were all orange instead of mixed. They were
the perfect size if cut in half lengthwise. 
For new, I decided to try this recipe from the Woman's Day website, but in the end decided to keep it simple and skip the Almond Gremolata.  Wasn't sure about all that parsley with my picky eaters. So just roasted in olive oil, then sprinkled with salt and pepper, and drizzled with fresh squeezed lemon
juice. I served it on a long rectangular white plate like above, but placed them crosswise instead of lengthwise.

Surprisingly EVERYONE took some and by the time the serving dish came to me (I'm always the last), there were only 2 spears of asparagus left.  Again - a good sign. So I'll be making it again, but may try the Gremolata next time.

One of the things that helped make this super easy was I purchased a package of small long carrots at Costco that were peeled , but still a bit of a top on them (see image above).  I cut them in half to make them more the thickness of the asparagus and then cut the asparagus spears a length that roughly matched the carrots. This made the prep super easy.


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Roasted Carrots and Asparagus with Almond Gremolata
Note - can skip Gremolata and just drizzle with fresh lemon juice, then salt and pepper to taste.

Ingredients -
16                  Small thin carrots
(Note - I found a package of whole carrots at Costco that were pre-peeled with a bit of green top still on them that were perfect when cut in half lengthwise - just a bit too thick)
2 T                Olive oil
1 lb.               Bunch asparagus, trimmed

Gremolata - 
1/3 C             Roasted unsalted almonds
2                    Cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
1 C                Fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 T                 Lemon juice

Directions - 
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the carrots with 1 Tbsp olive oil and transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes. Add the asparagus to the pan, drizzle with the remaining Tbsp oil and toss to combine. Roast until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 12 more minutes.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse together the almonds, garlic and lemon zest until roughly chopped. Add the parsley and pulse to roughly chop. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the lemon juice. Scatter over the roasted vegetables before serving.