The timid and frankly watery carrots of spring are becoming more interesting. Less sweet, deeper flavour, a good earthy crunch. Their flavour intensifies with roasting, something I do more often than steaming them. (I doubt I am alone in finding a steamed carrot worth eating only once it is rolled in copious amounts of melted butter and parsley). Roasted, they take on a delicious caramelised note that makes them worth eating.

Serves 4 as a side dish


  • carrots 500g, assorted
  • garlic 4 cloves
  • groundnut oil 3 tbsp
  • ginger 25g, fresh
  • sake 200ml
  • light soy sauce 1 tbsp
  • white (shiro) miso 3 tbsp
  • caster sugar 2 tbsp
  • cabbage 150g
  • black sesame seeds 2 tsp


  • Heat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Trim the carrots, leaving a short tuft of stems at the top. Halve the carrots lengthways then put them in a roasting tin. Peel the garlic, tuck it among the carrots then pour over the oil. Season with black pepper then toss the carrots in the oil. Roast for 35 minutes, until they are appetisingly golden.
  • Grate the ginger into a small saucepan, then add the sake, soy sauce, white miso and caster sugar and place over a moderate heat. Bring almost to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until it has reduced by half.
  • Finely shred the cabbage. When the carrots are ready, remove them to a serving dish. Place the roasting tin over a moderate heat and add the shredded cabbage. Toss the cabbage in the oil in the pan then tip the miso dressing in. Spoon the cabbage and dressing over the roasted carrots then scatter the sesame seeds over.