A simple warm salad recipe celebrating roasted maple carrots and buttery pine nuts on a bed of creamy stracciatella cheese. This will please the soul and light up any table.
Why I Love Roasted Maple Carrots Salad
The combination of roasted maple carrots and stracciatella cheese did surprise me.
Roasting carrots with maple syrup, orange juice and zest lifted the sweetness and created a beautiful zesty aroma. I wasn’t sure if the stracciatella cheese would be too much for the roasted maple carrots, but it was a perfect match.
Stracciatella di bufala is composed of small shreds of stretched mozzarella bathed in cream. It might sound overly rich, but, it was light and buttery when mingled with the roasted maple carrots, pine nuts and fresh parsley.
The colourful mix of roasted dutch carrots also looked amazing against the snowy white stracciatella cheese.
And when I served with barbeque chicken, this warm salad recipe matched very well. I think this roasted dutch carrot side dish will be fantastic at a few festive lunches coming up!
Ways to Cook Carrots
Growing up, I wasn’t a big fan of carrots. I felt raw carrots had a funny taste and cooked carrots were overdone in Chinese soup or undercooked in stir-fries.
It was very much a filler vegetable, nothing to brag about or showcase.
But how wrong am I!
Carrot is a versatile vegetable that you can boil, steam, bake, saute, roast or deep-fry. Plus you can shave, slice, shred, blend or just eat whole.
Fantastic in soups, salads, roasts, stews, tarts, cakes, fritters, stir-fries and noodles, this root vegetable is so delicious in many ways and should be celebrated as long as we know how to cook it properly.
It is about time we make carrot our hero ingredient.
Favourite Way to Cook Carrots
My favourite way to cook carrots at the moment is definitely in the oven. Roasting carrots soften and caramelise just perfectly so that the vegetable is tender and sweet. The slightly burnt bits adds character and texture.
In this recipe, I coat the dutch carrots in maple syrup, olive oil and orange zest to lift the flavours but there many other options to try.
You can add spices like paprika and cumin or coat with seeded mustard to dial up the aromas. Or throw in some garlic cloves or herbs like parsley, oregano or sage for a more earthy affair.
And of course, one of the best way to devour carrots is not to cook at all! Raw carrots has many nutritional benefits and very delicious in fresh salads.
There are many ways to present raw carrots – try shaving or shredding versus just slicing them in thin rounds. You will be surprised how the way you cut the carrot will change the way it tastes!
Here are some other carrot salads you may like:
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad with Dutch Carrots
- Dutch Carrot Salad with Hummus and Soft-Boiled Eggs
- Salad with Courgette, Carrot and Fennel
How to Meal Prep
I liked serving this salad warm but works perfectly fine at room temperature.
To save some time, you can roast Dutch carrots in advance and possibly gently reheat in the oven just before serving. Parsley and pine nuts can be prepped in advance.
How to Make It A Meal
Roasted maple carrots are a great side dish for roast dinners, lamb stew or even butternut risotto.
The zesty orange flavours would work with fish recipes as well. I served this warm salad recipe with barbeque chicken and it definitely matched well.
How to Make It Vegan and Nut Free
You can swap out the pine nuts for pepitas for a nut free salad.
Stracciatella might be harder to substitute if you are looking for a vegan option. There is vegan buffalo mozzarella available, or you can try layering the roasted maple carrots over hummus.
How to Make Roasted Maple Carrots Salad
How to Prepare Roasted Maple Carrots
I bought two different coloured dutch carrots, but of course, just the orange ones are fine. The purple carrots add colour and slightly different flavour but not crucial if you can’t find it.
Preheat oven to 180°C or 350°F.
Peel Dutch carrots and trim off the green tops. Scrub off any excess dirt, especially around the top.
Peel ½ orange and keep zest. Cut the orange in half and squeeze one half into a large mixing bowl.
Together in the bowl, place dutch carrots, olive oil, maple syrup, orange zest, salt and pepper. Toss well with maple syrup glaze until all is coated.
Place on an oven tray and roast in oven for approximately 20 minutes or until tender. I usually would turn the carrots about 10 minutes so that the carrots are cooked evenly.
Turn oven off when done and keep there until ready to serve.
How to Prepare the Salad
Whilst the carrots are roasting, prepare the other ingredients.
Over medium-low heat, toast pine nuts in a dry pan until golden brown. Stir and frequently move to avoid burning. Once they are ready, remove quickly from pan.
Wash and roughly chop parsley.
How To Assemble Salad
On a large platter, scoop stracciatella cheese onto half the plate.
Place the roasted maple carrots next to the stracciatella cheese with some overlapping on top of cheese.
Scatter toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley. Then drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil to serve.
It would be ideal to serve this salad warm, so keep the roasted maple carrots warm in oven until ready to serve.
However, this salad works well at room temperature too. With the maple syrup glaze on the roasted dutch carrots and stracciatella mixed together, there is no need for extra salad dressing.
Simple, easy to prepare and no fuss allows our hero ingredient, the humble carrot to shine like no other. Loved it.
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Ingredient Pairing Ideas
If you’d like to create your own salad and have an ingredient you’d like to hero, we have some great pairing suggestions to help you work out what flavours go well together.
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Roasted Maple Carrots Salad and Stracciatella
Click on the toggle below for conversion to US Cooking Units.
- Preheat oven to 180°C or 350°F.
- Peel Dutch carrots and trim off the green tops.
- Peel ½ orange and keep zest. Cut the orange in half and squeeze one half into a large mixing bowl.
- Together in the bowl, place Dutch carrots, olive oil, maple syrup, orange zest, salt and pepper.
- Toss well with maple syrup glaze until all is coated.
- Place carrots on an oven tray and roast in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until tender.
- Turn the carrots halfway through roasting.
- Turn oven off when done and keep there until ready to serve.
- Over medium-low heat, toast pine nuts in a dry pan until golden brown. Once they are ready, remove quickly from pan.
- Wash and roughly chop parsley.
- On a large platter, scoop stracciatella cheese onto half the plate.
- Place the roasted maple carrots next to the stracciatella cheese.
- Scatter toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley.
- Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil to serve.
- You can use orange Dutch carrots if you can not find purple carrots.
- Preferably this salad is served warm but can also be served at room temperature.
- Substitute pine nuts with pepitas for a nut free version.
- Stracciatella might be harder to substitute if you are looking for a vegan option. Try vegan buffalo mozzarella or hummus.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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