Since its founding in 1993, America's Test Kitchen has conducted research in test kitchens (and through the efforts of thousands of volunteer test cooks across the country) to improve and perfect recipes, which appear in its magazines and cookbooks.
ATK's recently-published cookbook "Vegetables Illustrated" contains more than 700 recipes, including this one for Roasted Carrots and Shallots with Chermoula.
They write: "We discovered that there are two keys to good browning when roasting carrots: butter and oven position. Melting the butter first helps coat the carrots evenly before they go onto the baking sheet. The butter itself helps brown the vegetables while also keeping them from sticking.
"Roasting the buttered carrots lower in the oven also helps to promote browning. The closer the heat source is to the baking sheet, the better the browning. The resulting carrots are tender, sweet, and almost caramel-like on the roasted sides.
"To spice up this simple preparation, we served our carrots with an intense, spicy green chermoula and plenty of toasted pine nuts.
"Choose carrots that are about 1½ inches in diameter at the thicker end. If your carrots are smaller, leave them whole; if they're larger, extend the roasting time slightly."
Roasted Carrots and Shallots with Chermoula
Total time: 35 minutes
1 ½ pounds carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
4 large shallots, peeled and halved through root end
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 Tablespoons toasted and coarsely chopped pine nuts
¾ cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
4 garlic gloves, minced
1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. For the carrots: Adjust oven rack to lower position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Toss carrots, shallots, melted butter, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper together in bowl to coat. Spread carrot-shallot mixture in even layer on rimmed baking sheet, cut sides down. Roast until tender and cut sides are well-browned, 15 to 25 minutes.
2. For the chermoula: Process cilantro, lemon juice, garlic, serrano, cumin, salt, and cayenne in food processor until finely chopped, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. With processor running, slowly add oil until incorporated. Transfer to small bowl.
3. Transfer carrots and shallots to serving platter and season with salt to taste. Drizzle with chermoula and sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve.
Reprinted from "Vegetables Illustrated" with permission by America's Test Kitchen.
For more info: