A road trip from Durango to Moab, down in the Four-Corners area of southern Utah and Colorado, takes you through the “don’t blink” town of Dove Creek. If you don’t blink, on the north side of the road you will pass the Adobe Milling store that sells local pinto beans and the more gourmet Anasazi beans, named for the ancient Pueblo culture that lived in this area. Dove Creek Colorado calls itself the “Pinto Bean Capital of the World”, but I came away with a bag of Anasazi beans from the store. Paired with polenta and Roasted Carrots—well, tonight will be our third meal of the same.
I make a 1 cup recipe of polenta beforehand and let it cool in a 9 x 13” dish. Robbie cuts the cold polenta into squares and into the oven it goes—along with the carrots roasting to perfect golden tenderness.
I followed my basic recipe for pot beans, adding a couple of chiles, because they were sitting in a bowl on the kitchen counter asking to be used. The same with my go-to polenta recipe—easily cooked in the microwave. The roasted carrots are “simplicity itself”, to quote Anna Thomas, whose recipe I followed. In her cookbook, The New Vegetarian Epicure, Ms. Thomas suggests a meal of roasted vegetables and polenta. She includes roasted whole garlic and sautéed greens along with the roasted carrots and other surprises. I highly recommend the cookbook.
The vegetable broth and lemon juice add bling to the carrots. Since I keep a jar of Rapunzel powdered vegetable broth in the pantry, I mixed one teaspoon of powder with 2 tablespoons of hot water.
1 pound small carrots
About1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
1 ½ teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice.
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Trim the carrots and scrub them well. If the carrots are not small, cut them into stick no more than ½ inch at their thickest point.
Put the carrots in a shallow baking pan and drizzle the olive oil over them Sprinkle lightly with salt. Toss them around so the oil and salt are evenly distributed. Mix the broth and lemon juice together and sprinkle over the carrots.
Roast the carrots about 45 minutes, moving them around every 20 minutes or so. The broth will evaporate and the carrots will become golden. If they are turning too dark before they are tender, add a wee bit more broth, but not so much that there will be liquid in the pan when the carrots are done.
Makes 4 to 5 servings.