Roasted carrots with pine nuts, spinach and raisins / by Suzanne

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Wondering where we're at with our bathroom renovation? Well, the tub is finally out of the living room and installed in the bathroom.

It's a five-foot long deep soaker tub. Since water weighs a lot (one kilogram per litre) our contractor wanted to be certain we wouldn't come crashing down through the floor and into the kitchen on our first dip into the bathtub.

Rather than fill the tub with water (and risk having THAT mess to deal with should the floor not be able to withstand the weight) he chose a static weight; he placed in the tub several sand bags, totaling hundreds of pounds, and then jumped in to add to the load.

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Turns out this old house's structure is sound enough and we can bathe without anxiety. Phew!

Speaking of certainty, I was roasting carrots to feed my family the other night, certain I had prepared enough for my hungry crowd. But when I pulled them from the oven they had considerably shrunk and the amount seemed scant.

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My wise daughter suggested I add spinach to bulk things up. So I added several handfuls of tender spinach to the hot cookie sheet, tossed it among the carrots (which helped it slightly wilt), added salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice, and voila!

Coincidently, I recently came upon this recipe, which inspired me to take this dish to the next level by adding spices, pine nuts and raisins. The result is a flavourful and hearty dish, packed with nutrients. It's colourful and pretty, too. And I love to eat pretty things. Don't you?

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These are the amounts I used to feed five hungry people as a side dish.

Roasted carrots with pine nuts, spinach and raisins

14 medium carrots, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons spice of your choice (I used freshly grated nutmeg)

3/4 cup raisins (or dried cranberries or cherries)

1/2 cup pine nuts (or pumpkin seeds)

juice of 1/2 a lemon

Several handfuls of tender spinach (or mesclun greens)

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, toss carrots with olive oil and spice of your choice. Spread out on prepared baking sheet and roast 20 minutes or until carrots are tender with golden brown edges.

Remove from oven. Scatter raisins and pine nuts on hot baking sheet and gently toss.

Add spinach to carrots and toss gently.

Finish with a squeeze of lemon, a pinch of sea salt and pepper to taste.

Serve directly from baking sheet.