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Carrot asado

Asado means roasted or to roast, but colloquially it also means "welcome to the barbecue". Roasting foods, mainly meats are highly celebrated in South American culture, whether it be for a family get-together or a celebration, there is an ever-present party on the block somewhere. Grilled pork, lamb, beef and chicken are devoured coated in spics and herbs specific to every country and the atmosphere is always that of fun and celebration.

This is a vegetarian asado of carrots. It is brought alive with a wonderful blend of spices and finished with a sweetened glaze. They are perfectly crisp and sticky on the outside and loaded with flavour. I was quite surprised how quickly they disappeared, tThe dish pairs beautifully with grilled meat, acting as a foil for the fats. Every guest at my dinner highlighted how spectacular this dish was, so it is a keeper! This is one of those dishes that will take your guests by surprise, so make extra.

V Street is a collection of vegetarian recipes from the famed chefs who created Vedge Restaurant in Philadelphia. This is their follow-up cookbook, filled with global vegetarian cuisine done well and done right.

For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.


8-10 medium carrots, scrubbed and trimmed and cut in half longitudinally

3 tablespoons oil

2 teaspoons Latin spice blend

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

2 teaspoons tamari sauce

2 teaspoons agave nectar or honey

1/2 cup ketchup

2 teaspoons molasses

Latin spice blend (makes 2/3 cup):

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons chipotle powder

1 tablespoon dried garlic powder

1 tablespoon dried onion flakes

1 tablespoon pepper

2 tablespoons sweet paprika

2 teaspoons dried oregano, Mexican preferred

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried cayenne, or to taste

1 teaspoon ground coriander seed

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Note: To make chipotle powder, take 1 chipotle and grind it to a fine powder. The chipotles are quite hard, so make sure to grind them fine. Since you are also grinding the seeds, the powder is usually quite spicy.

For the Latin spice blend:

Mix all the ingredients and store them in an airtight jar.

Toss the carrots with the oil and the Latin spice blend till well coated. Layer on a lined baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes till the carrots are cooked and the spice blend is aromatic. Take care not to burn the spices. Remove and cool.

Add the rest of the ingredients to a bowl and mix well to combine.

When ready to serve, toss the roasted carrots in the sauce to coat well. Cook on high heat in a wide frying pan till the liquids have evaporated and the carrots are glazed and sticky, about 3-4 minutes. Serve immediately.

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