Countdown to Thanksgiving finishes with this recipe! The big day is almost here, and I’m not sure what I look forward to most – the food, seeing my family, or the road trip itself. Steve, Frankie, and I always pile into whatever rental car we can find and hit the road for Ohio. We’ve got the snacks and the podcasts ready…is it Wednesday afternoon yet?
To recap, I gave you an alternative green veg to green beans and cranberry as both a sauce and a dessert. To finish up, I’m adding one more bright color – orange. But instead of the usual sweet potatoes, carrots.
I’m straight-up copycatting this recipe from a restaurant I visited recently. Well, as close as I can get based on the flavors I remember. And after the wine sank in. So maybe it’s not that similar after all. It’s anyone’s guess, but what I came up with is damn tasty too. The concept of granola on anything but breakfast and hippie hiking snacks might throw some people, but trust me on this. In the original dish, I remember every fall flavor popping at once, and the unexpected crunch of what usually signifies morning food was such a delicious surprise. If you’re looking for a truly different side dish for your Thanksgiving table, this is the one.
1 lb. whole carrots (about 7 medium carrots)
1 cup milk of choice
1 Tbsp maple syrup
Generous dash (or heaping 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
Dash of salt and ground cinnamon
Generous swirl of olive oil (about 1 Tbsp)
Roughly chop carrots and add to a medium pot. Pour milk over carrots and bring to a low boil. Continue to simmer on low with the lid left slightly ajar until carrots become very tender and blendable, about 20-25 minutes. To a blender or food processor, add carrot and milk mixture and remaining ingredients. Blend to a smooth consistency with no chunks remaining. Set aside.
3-4 lbs. whole carrots
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Cut carrots on the bias into large chunks. Place in a large baking dish and generously drizzle olive oil, salt, and pepper. Using hands, toss to coat and spread evenly in the dish. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Carrots should be fork tender but maintain their shape with no “mushy” factor. Al dente, if you will.
Pecan Spice Granola
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup favorite dried fruit (like cranberries, figs, or cherries), chopped
Generous dashes of: ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt
2 Tbsp olive or melted coconut oil
3 Tbsp maple syrup
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and use fork to whisk together. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes, checking and redistributing mixture as necessary, until golden brown.
*The best thing about the 3 steps above is that they can all be done simultaneously, with the carrots and granola baking at the same temp!
Scoop puree onto the base of your plate. Layer roasted carrots on top. Sprinkle generously with granola. I think this looks exceptionally beautiful on a long rectangular platter…if I had one!