My grandma would often cook carrots for us growing up, a typical side dish for most family meals.
“Carrots are good for your eyes,” she’d tell me as I pushed the boiled orange coins, floating in pools of butter, around my plate.
Grandma had worn thick, plastic-framed glasses the whole time I’d known her, and I’d qualified as near-sighted almost as soon as I went to school. So the idea of not wearing glasses was appealing.
She knew her audience, you could say.
She was obviously right about the health benefits of carrots. Real food, grown on trees or in the ground, is filled with real benefits – but I only learned later that the health benefits of these foods were just the beginning.
Sure, carrots are crazy high in beta carotene, antioxidants, and anthocyanins… but they’re also delicious. They’re tasty steam, grilled, or pressure cooked.
But I love them the most when they’re roasted.
If you ask me, roasting is to vegetables what carpentry is to lumber. Through oil, heat, and seasoning, roasting becomes a testament to transformation.
And in the case of carrots, the glory of roasting shines bright.
Matchstick slices of carrots are tossed with an herbed oil mixture made with fresh dill, basil, and parsley. Sprinkled with salt and pepper, the vegetables go into the oven for about 30 minutes.
When they are done (slightly charred, a little wilted, yet still al dente), they are amazing on their own.
But they taste even better when layered on slices of crusty bread.
My tartines – or crostini or bruschetta or toasts – are simple to assemble: toast, soft fresh chevre, garlicky pesto, carrots, a little maple syrup, and chopped parsley sprinkled in top. They’re pretty as a picture, the kind of thing to make you double-take and want to grab a bite.
They’d make interesting appetizers for a party, although I’ll admit we ate them for dinner alongside a giant salad stuffed with roasted beets. And they’re hard not to love, from the crunchy base of toast to the sweet and savory toppings piled on top.
But mostly above all else, these tartines beautifully showcase the carrot, in all its nutritional, colorful, candy-like glory.
I like eating them and thinking, I’m doing Grandma proud.Print
These unique tartines are easy to assemble for a party: toast, soft chevre, pesto, roasted carrots, maple syrup, and fresh herbs combine together for an explosion of fun flavors that will keep everyone entertained.
- 1 pound carrots
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon chopped dill
- 1 tablespoon chopped basil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 small crusty bread loaf, or 1 French baguette
- 1/2 cup fresh goat cheese (chevre)
- 1/2 cup prepared pesto
- Maple syrup, for drizzling
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Peel the carrots and cut them into skinny, short matchsticks. Spread out onto a half-sheet pan lined with a silicone mat or foil.
- Stir together the olive oil with the 1/4 cup chopped parsley, dill, and basil. Toss the mixture with the carrots until evenly coated. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over the top.
- Roast for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Don’t turn off the oven.
- Slice the bread into 10 even slices about 1/4-inch thick. Place slices on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned and crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly.
- Spread the top of each slice with the cheese. Lightly spoon the pesto on top of the cheese. Evenly divide the roasted carrots on top of the pesto.
- When ready to serve, transfer the slices to your serving platter. Drizzle with a little maple syrup all over the top, and garnish with chopped parsley. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
- Category: Crostini
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Appetizers
Keywords: tartine, crostini, carrot, appetizer, pesto, goat cheese
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep the Vegetables
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
You can even use our recipe for roasted rosemary carrots with honey glaze for an entirely different flavor profile – give it a try!
Step 2 – Make the Seasoning
Stir together the olive oil with the 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, dill, and basil. Toss the mixture with the carrots until evenly coated. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over the top – use freshly ground salt and pepper for bites of amazing flavor and texture.
Step 3 – Roast
Mix the herbed oil with the carrot sticks on the baking sheet pan until everything is evenly coated.
Roast for 35-45 minutes, until carrots are beautifully golden and lightly browned around the tips and edges. Remove carrots from oven as you move on to the next steps.
Don’t turn off the oven! You’ll need to keep the oven on to toast the bread slices.
Step 4 – Make the Pesto
Step 5 – Toast the Bread
Place slices on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned and crisp. Remove and let cool slightly.
Step 6 – Assemble and Serve
Spread the top of each slice with the cheese. Using an offset spatula makes spreading very fast for each piece of toast. The chevre should also be at room temperature, which helps soften the cheese for easy spreading.
Lightly spread the pesto on top of the cheese. Evenly divide the roasted carrots on top of the pesto.
When ready to serve, transfer the slices to a serving platter. Drizzle with a little maple syrup all over the top, and garnish with chopped parsley. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
A Recipe That Would Make Grandma Smile
Grandma will be happy to know that I’m eating my vegetables with absolutely no complaints, especially with this amazing dish.
In this recipe, I tried something different that goes beyond simply roasting my favorite orange vegetables – and I think you’ll really enjoy it, as well.
Serve this at your next party, and see how everyone else will be entertained with each bite of the playful textures and flavors, from the browned, nearly candied carrots to the creamy goat cheese spread.
Eat, enjoy, savor!
What do you think of this unique take on crostini? What pesto recipe will you be using for this dish? Let me know how this dish inspires you to make your own version in the comments below, after rating the recipe.
Looking for even more crostini to serve as appetizers? Get those bread slices ready for these fun recipes:
- Olive, Red Pepper, and Goat Cheese
- Tangy Roasted Tomatoes
- Peach Basil
- Maple Pear
- Broccoli Rabe and Pecorino
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on July 19, 2013. Last updated: November 30, 2020 at 14:38 pm. With additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.