My favorite restaurant in Seattle (I’m well known for having multiple favorites, but this is legitimately one of, if not absolutely, my favorite) features a rotating menu that sometimes includes carrots like these. Their sister restaurant (also very good) has been known to include their own spin on them as well. In any event, they are amazing. I’ve interrogated a few of the staff to get as much information as possible in order to replicate this simple, yet really lovely dish. This is as close as I can come, and I think it works.
These can be dressed up in a number of ways. I’ve had them with toasted garlic chips, harissa spiced yogurt, and some special imported Italian honey vinegar thing I don’t think is available to mortals (as the bartender told me, anyhow). When I do these at home I grab a nice vinegar that I think will pair well with whatever else I’m eating (or my homemade apple cider vinegar!), give them an easy sprinkle of acid and hit them with a pinch of salt. And sometimes I burn my fingers eating them straight out of the oven completely plain.
The last note on this recipe is a chance to tell you about my favorite (ahem, there it is again!) piece of kitchen equipment (this is a total lie, although I do really love this pan). I saw Bobby Flay cooking on TV with this griddle one day and I immediately went to work to acquire one for myself. I’m so glad I did. I use this nearly every week during my meal prep – I can through a half-dozen small burger patties on it, it sears meat beautifully, veggies like in this recipe, I even cook pancakes on it. I love how it is easy to get to the food since there aren’t sides on the pan, and cooking on cast iron is a neat way to supplement your diet with iron, something I’m always trying to improve. Here it is on Amazon for under $20!
Cast Iron Skillet Carrots
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 6 carrots, peeled and trimmed
- Your favorite vinegar
- Kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 400* and place a cast iron skillet, large enough to hold all of the carrots in a single layer, over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is very hot, add the coconut oil and distribute evenly across the pan. Add the carrots in a single layer and then don’t touch them for at least two minutes! You are trying to develop a very brown colored sear. I heard Mario Batali (is the second name drop in this recipe?!) once say that, in his opinion, the single biggest mistake home cooks make is failing to properly brown their food. He attributes this failure to fear, and suggests that every home cook allow themselves, at least once, to properly burn something, as in, ruin it entirely, and then they’ll know that they should have flipped it over about 30 seconds prior. I am not suggesting you try that now with these carrots, but keep it in mind. Face your fears! Nearly burn these carrots!
Continue nearly burning the carrots in this fashion until you have developed really impressive color on as many sides as you can get the carrot to hold still on. Transfer the skillet to the very hot oven and allow them to finish cooking through. This will take somewhere between 5-10 minutes, depending on how large your carrots are. Test them by poking the thickest end of the carrot with a toothpick or a fork. If you have a few skinny carrots, they will be done sooner, so take them out of the oven, leaving the others to finish, if need be. They will actually burn at some point!
Once the carrots have finished cooking, remove the skillet from the oven, sprinkle with vinegar and a pinch of salt and enjoy!