Rainbow Carrots with Balsamic and Thyme on Baked Ricotta

rainbow carrots on baked ricotta I don’t know why carrots are so underrated I think we take them for granted, they’re the base for soups and stews, juices and even baked goods like cakes and muffins. You can boil them or eat them raw plus they have plenty of health benefits.

Taking center stage in this recipe are those beautiful rainbow colored carrots, the colors are so vibrant with their trio of purple, white and orange and I love the look of the longer, thinner bunches.

balsamic and thyme carrots

I like to roast them with olive oil and generous amounts of thyme, the flavors all meld together as they caramelize in the oven.

To finish them off a splash of rich balsamic glaze takes them to another level.

balsamic and thyme carrots on ricotta You could stop right there and honestly you would be totally satisfied, but we’re going one step further and placing them on top of a gratin filled with savory, garlicky, cheesy baked ricotta

rainbow carrots on baked ricotta

Oh my, the humble carrot never looked and tasted so good!

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Rainbow Carrots with Balsamic and Thyme on Baked Ricotta
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of rainbow carrots, around eight, go for the thinner longer bunches
  • thyme, fresh or dried
  • 1½ cups ricotta (drained of liquid)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup of grated romano cheese (or parmesan)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced, smashed or grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • balsamic glaze (store bought)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a rimmed baking sheet add carrots, toss and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and a generous amount of thyme, fresh or dried.
  3. Roast til tender with still a little bite, not mushy.
  4. Remove and drizzle with balsamic glaze while still warm, set aside.
  5. Lower oven temp to 375 degrees.
  6. Olive oil a low profile baking dish something that will showcase the length of the carrots, I used a gratin dish.
  7. In a small bowl add the ricotta, garlic, egg, grated cheese, salt and pepper, mixing well by hand incorporating everything.
  8. Spread ricotta mixture onto your oiled gratin dish then bake for around 20 minutes until you see a light golden brown all around.
  9. Place cooked carrots on top adding a little more olive oil and balsamic glaze before serving.

 

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Cooking with Quality Products

Recently I received an email from Olio2go, a company whose mission is to seek out the best quality products from all over Italy asking me if I’d like to review some of their artisinal products, after checking out their link of course I said yes!

One of the three products I received was Olio Verde Novello coming from Castelvetrano, Italy on the Island of Sicily, this olive oil was freshly pressed this passed October, and boy can you taste that freshness! It’s rich, fruity and slightly pungent all at the same time with hints of artichoke and lemon, I swear I could drink this stuff, oh and I love the shape of the bottle!
Did you know that high quality extra virgin olive oil is very stable when heated and it has a high smoking point? I didn’t!
The pappardelle comes from Pastificio Vicidomini, in Castel San Giorgio, near Naples, from a family owned business that has been making high quality pasta since 1812, now 6 generations strong this pasta is made with certified organic semolina and mountain water. There must be something to that mountain water because the flavor and the texture was superb!
The pretty jar of crispy asparagus comes from Villa Cappelli in Puglia perfect for an appetizer or placed into a salad.
For the pappardelle I decided to let the pasta shine through by tossing it with roasted shards of butternut squash. I call it shards because that’s what they ended up looking like after I shredded and roasted them up on my baking sheet.

I actually loved how all the jagged pieces looked when tossed among this amazing quality pasta.
I used a basil brown butter sauce and plenty of freshly grated parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper to finish it off.

When I read that Olio Verde had hints of lemon and artichoke, I went out and bought 4 of the prettiest artichokes I could find, I trimmed them, cut them into quarters, scooped out the chokes, cooked them until tender, and then after they were cooled down I placed them into a pool of this liquid gold along with fresh parsley, lemon juice as well as the zest, red pepper and chopped garlic. One word… DIVINE!

I’m sorry but I just couldn’t get enough of this olive oil so I went ahead and made a savory baked ricotta, perfect when smeared on top crostini. Ricotta is such a blank canvas, it takes on flavors so well, so when it was finished baking I poured a generous drizzle of it right over the top which made every bite sublime!
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I had 1 1/2 cups of ricotta sitting in my fridge so with that I mixed in 1 egg, 1/2 cup of grated romano cheese, 5 small cherry tomatoes cut lengthwise, a couple of tablespoons of fresh chopped basil, 1 small minced garlic, zest of 1/2 a lemon, salt, pepper and 3 chopped olives.
Oil a shallow gratin dish, or a ramekin if you want to unmold it, spread the mixture into the dish and bake 375F for around 20 minutes or until nicely golden on top.

Of course if you don’t have these particular products on hand you can make any of these recipes using your own favorite pastas and olive oils, but if your looking for an extra special treat, check out Olio2go!
Buon Appetito!
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