I’m a bit of a fat hoarder. Anytime I cook bacon, pork, duck or any fatty piece of meat, I store the fat in the fridge. Why? Because it has endless uses. Anytime I’m cooking something simple, I use it as a base. Sauteing onions? Skip the olive oil and use the bacon fat. Toasting up some arborio rice for risotto? Try a little duck fat.
So when I saw the vibrant orange carrots from Deep Roots Farms, I knew they didn’t need anything fancy. And when I bit into one raw — what’s up doc style — I knew bacon fat would be the perfect compliment.
I started by melting the bacon fat and pouring the excess into the glass container that would later go in the oven. I halved or quartered the carrots, depending on their size and spread them out. A few cloves of chopped garlic and a sprinkle of salt later, I pop them in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes. The garlic and the carrots slowly cook in the fat, confit style, infusing each other with more flavor. Once soft and slightly browned, I take them out and shower them with grated parmesan cheese, fried sage, carrot tops and some sage flowers if you’re fancy.
I’m a fan of keeping fresh local veggies simple, but admittedly, carrots are not my favorite vegetable. But coated in a rich bacon fat, they are scrumptious (try this same recipe with olive oil if you don’t eat meat). The garlic slowly cooks in the oven to release incredible aromas. The parm cheese cuts through some of the richness. The fried sage is fun, crunchy and earthy. The carrot tops add color — and yes, you can use those as an herb or for a pesto, no waste here! Together, it makes a perfect summer side dish, though I just ate all of the carrots right out of the pan.
Garlic confit carrots with Parmesan cheese and fried sage
- 1 bunch carrots with leafy green top
- bacon fat rendered from one pound of bacon
- 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese shredded
- 1/4 cup fresh sage