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Roasted Maple Carrots: An Unordinary Tzimmes Recipe

Roasted maple carrots – infused with rich flavors of balsamic, maple, orange and cinnamon – turns into a non-traditional carrot tzimmes recipe for Jewish holidays.

Different and maybe worth a try for your next holiday meal.

roasted glazed carrots tzimmes on plate

What is Tzimmes? (pronounced tsi-miss)

Tzimmes is a Jewish sweetened vegetable and fruit concoction, typically made with root vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes), honey and prunes or raisins.  Sometimes pineapple, dried fruits, apricots, butternut squash, nuts or oranges are used as well.

The word tzimmes mean big fuss. It is often served as a sweet side dish alongside meat on Rosh Hashanah to help usher in a sweet year. And other Jewish holidays too.

Sweet carrots – in fact any sweet foods – are particularly traditional for the Jewish New Year.

This tzimmes recipe is different

There are countless recipes out there for tzimmes, most of them braised on the stove top for about an hour to create a something like a stew. Here’s a more traditional stove-top tzimmes by a well known Jewish cook.  

I decided to try a different version with roasted maple carrots and a sweet full-bodied fruity orange-y, cinnamon-y, maple-balsamic glaze. I also wanted to show off the multi-colored carrots I had just bought at a farmer’s market 🙂

Yum! Sort of an upscale simple side dish that makes a great companion for turkey breast, prime rib, brisket, instant pot roast chicken or lamb.

Tailor to your Taste

Here are a few variations and substitutions to try.

Glaze

  • Consider doubling the glaze/sauce if you want it to soak into the mashed potatoes or quinoa on your plate, for example.
  • Add a tablespoon of butter to the glaze after it’s thickened to make it even silkier and glossy.

Substitutes

  • Use dried prunes, cranberries or apricots instead of raisins.
  • Substitute toasted chopped walnuts or almonds for the pistachios.

Garnish

  • Squeeze on a splash or two of lemon juice or add a teaspoon of lemon zest before serving to add brightness and balance the sweetness.

How to make roasted maple carrots (a new version of tzimmes)

pile of multi coloured carrots
I like to use multi-colored rainbow carrots
carrots, oranges, cinnamon, maple syrup, cornstarch, oil, butter, raisins, balsamic vinegar
Ingredients: carrots, oranges, cinnamon, maple syrup, cornstarch, oil, butter (optional), raisins, balsamic vinegar
Roasted carrots on pan
Roast carrots on a lined baking sheet until tender.
glaze for Carrot Tzimmes in pot
Make glaze while carrots are roasting with the addition of golden raisins (optional)
Roasted Glazed Carrot Tzimmes on pan
Toss roasted carrots with glaze and roast again for another 10-20 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature and drizzle on an extra tablespoon of maple syrup if you like.

Make Ahead

  • You can pre-roast the carrots and make the sauce ahead of time. Then finish the glazing and final roasting (last step) before serving; or
  • Make the entire dish, under-cooking the carrots a bit. Rewarm it in the oven at 350-375F/176-190C for 10 minutes or so. Add garnish.
roasted glazed carrots tzimmes on plate
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Roasted Glazed Carrot Tzimmes

A perfect side for Rosh Hashanah or any feast, Roasted Glazed Carrot Tzimmes fuses the delicious, rich flavours of balsamic, maple, orange & cinnamon. 
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Jewish
Servings: 8
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 2 pound whole carrots (I used fresh multi-colored from farmer’s market)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon each, kosher salt and black pepper
  • GARNISH: chopped parsley, fresh thyme, chopped pistachios or other nuts

Glaze/sauce (I sometimes double glaze ingredients)

  • 2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 1/2 oranges)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoon good Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup (41 grams) seedless golden raisins, optional or dark raisins

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 450F/232C
  • PREPARE CARROTS: If carrots are farm fresh, no need to peel them. Just give them a scrub. Otherwise, peel carrots with a vegetable peeler. Cut thicker carrots in half lengthwise so that all carrots are about the same thickness (to cook evenly).
  • ROAST CARROTS: Line a small roasting pan with foil and spray with oil. Place carrots in a single layer on pan. Drizzle oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss around to coat evenly then lay out carrots so they don't overlap. Roast 15-20 minutes – turning once with a spatula halfway through – until partially (not fully) soft and starting to caramelize.
  • MAKE MPALE GLAZE: While carrots are roasting, in a small sauce pan, stir all glaze/sauce ingredients together. Bring to boil, reduce to medium and cook for 5 minutes until somewhat thickened and reduced a bit.
  • GLAZE CARROTS AND FINISH ROASTING: Remove carrots from oven. Pour glaze/sauce carrots and mix to coat evenly. Return to oven and roast for 10-20 more minutes until carrots are tender, but not mushy. Note 1.
    Transfer to platter or bowl. Garnish finished dish with chopped parsley and pistachios or other nuts. Drizzle on extra tablespoon of maple syrup if you like. Serve immediately.

Notes

  1. Option for final step and serving:. Instead of finishing carrots on a sheet pan, transfer to a shallow oven proof baking dish and complete the final glazing step. Serve right in the baking dish. No need to transfer to a new serving dish.
  2. Variations and Substitutions
    • Glaze
      • Consider doubling the glaze/sauce if you want it to soak into the mashed potatoes or quinoa on your plate, for example.
      • Add a tablespoon of butter to the glaze after it’s thickened to make it even silkier, richer and glossy.
    • Substitutes
      • Use dried prunes, cranberries or apricots instead of raisins.
      • Substitute toasted chopped walnuts or almonds for the pistachios.
    • Garnish
      • Squeeze on a splash or two of lemon juice or add a teaspoon of lemon zest before serving to add brightness and balance the sweetness.
  3. Make Ahead: 
    • You can pre-roast the carrots and make the sauce ahead of time.  Then finish the glazing and final roasting (last step) before serving; or
    • Make the entire dish, under-cooking the carrots a bit.  Then rewarm it in the oven at 350-375F/176-190C  for 10 minutes or so. Add garnish.
Nutrition value estimates do not include garnishes. 

Nutrition

Calories: 94kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 154mg | Potassium: 441mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 18975IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg
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