Roasted Rainbow Carrots

Are you looking for a beautiful and easy side dish for your holiday table?  Roasted Rainbow Carrots are so pretty and go well with a variety of roasts and main courses.  In this easy preparation, I roast them whole with butter and herbs then give them just a brush of maple syrup at the end for sweetness.  Of course, you can do this with regular carrots.  Just be sure to choose slender carrots that are about the same size, so they cook evenly.

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Peel and trim the carrots, leaving a little of the stem (for appearance, not to eat).

Rinse the carrots and pat dry.

Line a sheet pan with foil and mist with cooking spray.  Arrange the carrots in a single layer, dot with butter and season with salt, pepper and thyme.

Roast at 400º for 20-25 minutes or until they reach the desired softness.

You can prepare to this point the night before and reheat in the morning.  Brush the carrots lightly with maple syrup and return to the oven for 15-20 minutes at 325º.  Transfer to a serving dish.

Notes ♪♫ Thyme pairs beautifully with carrots.  I was fortunate enough to still have fresh thyme from my herb garden when I made this for Thanksgiving.  Look for it in the supermarket, or if you can’t find it, use dried thyme.

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Garlicky Green Beans

Quite possibly my favorite vegetable, I have always loved green beans.  Maybe because my grandfather used to grow them in his garden years ago.  As a child, I remember seeing rows and rows of beans that he would harvest and can for the winter months.

Like most vegetables, this one is best when you buy fresh.  After a quick 3 minute steaming I’ll finish them in a simple garlic oil with red pepper flakes for a big pop of flavor!

First, wash and trim the ends of the green beans.  You can cut them in half or leave them full length.  I set up a pot of boiling water with a steamer basket and steamed the green beans for 3 minutes.  Do it in batches so you don’t crowd the colander.

After three minutes, shock them under cold water to stop the cooking.

Next, warm a tbsp. of olive oil in a stainless steel skillet on the lowest heat.  Add one sliced garlic clove and let it mellow and flavor the oil for about 10 minutes.  Don’t let it burn.  Right before adding the green beans, throw in a pinch of red pepper flakes (more if you like the heat) and let them toast for 30 seconds.

Add the green beans and toss to coat.  You can remove the garlic or leave it in.  How long to cook depends on how you like your beans.  About 2 minutes for crisp tender, or more if you like them softer.  Add salt if you like.

That’s all there is to it, the perfect accompaniment to so many meals.

Notes ♪♫  After steaming the green beans for 3 minutes you can store them in the freezer.  You will preserve much of their fresh flavor, color and texture, and still have the convenience of frozen veggies!  Spread them out on a dish towel to dry before freezing, to remove as much moisture out as possible.  Divide them into meal sized portions and place in freezer safe bags.

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