Q: How do you catch a bunny?

A: Hide in a meadow and make carrot noises!

garlicWinter is here at Sterling. As the days grow shorter and the temperatures drop, we look forward to new smells and flavors. Our pantry is stocked with root crops – carrots, turnips, and much more – thanks to the hard work of Ellie, Brian, and the fall garden crew. This recipe is one way to make use of the fall harvest and stay healthy during the winter months.


3 large carrots, whole

3 small heads garlic, whole, with cloves still attached to stem

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. crushed black pepper

Sprig fresh rosemary, finely minced


  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Place whole carrots on an 8×12 sheet of aluminum foil. In a small bowl, mix salt and pepper together and sprinkle to gently spice the carrots. Drizzle with olive oil until all surfaces are coated (about 3 tablespoons). Fold the foil into an envelope around the carrots and place in a deep-walled baking dish.
  3. On a second sheet of foil, sprinkle the three heads of garlic generously with the salt/pepper mixture (make sure to save some of the mixture for later on). Fold up the edges of the foil to form a “basket” and pour in the remaining olive oil to bathe the garlic. Place the garlic envelope alongside the carrots in the baking dish.
  4. Move the baking dish to the oven and cook for approximately four hours at 250 degrees. For maximum energy efficiency, keep the oven door closed during baking.
  5. After the baking is complete, remove the dish from the oven and unwrap the foil. Be careful – oil will be hot! Carefully slice carrots in half lengthwise. They should be tender and cut easily, but not mushy.
  6. In a small frying pan, pour off enough of the garlic oil to cover the bottom of the pan, and heat on the stove top until the oil begins to lightly ripple. Gently place carrots cut-side down in the pan. Add rosemary and the remaining salt/pepper mixture. Sear until golden-brown.
  7. Transfer carrots to plate. Remove the garlic heads from the foil, and squeeze the cloves out of the skin (If they don’t slide out as whole cloves, you may need to peel back the skin before squeezing). Drizzle with leftover garlic oil and garnish with fresh rosemary. Makes six servings – but you may want to eat it all yourself!

Tips from Simeon:

  • When searing, it is important to have a hot pan – but don’t allow it to get too hot or the olive oil will start smoking.
  • You can tell the pan is  hot when you start to smell the garlic wafting.
  • Look, smell, and listen. Cooking with all of your senses is really important.
Total Calories 277 14% limit
Protein 1 g 2% target
Carbohydrate 9 g 7% target
Dietary Fiber 3 g 11% target
Total Sugars 3 g No daily target or limit
Total Fat 27 g No daily target or limit
Saturated Fat 4 g 17% limit
Monounsaturated Fat 20 g No daily target or limit
Polyunsaturated Fat 3 g No daily target or limit
Calcium 41 mg 4% target
Potassium 215 mg 5% target
Sodium 1272 mg 55% limit
Magnesium 11 mg 3% target
Phosphorus 33 gm 5% target
Vitamin A 661 µg 94% target
Vitamin E 5 mg 31% target

Here at Sterling, we believe in a “whole” approach to nutrition, in which we focus more on a complete diet of a variety of foods, rather than on the nutritional value of individual foods. However, we found it useful to break down our recipe into nutrition facts in order to learn more about the dish (see above). One thing to keep in mind is that this is not a low-calorie dish! While we feature vegetables prominently, the calories come from the use of olive oil in the slow-cooking process. In this way, each serving comes out to be 277 calories! But don’t be afraid. We’re not scared of calories as long as they are eaten in moderation. If you are worried about all that oil, we encourage you play around with using less of it, and let us know the results. Share your take in the comments below.

Carrots are high in Vitamin A, an essential fat-soluble vitamin which supports vision, reproduction, growth, and immune system function. Although few Americans are vitamin A deficient, it is an important part of a healthy diet. In order to get the best absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, it is best to eat them with fat! This dish combines the vitamin-rich carrot with a healthy oil (olive oil has an excellent ratio of Omega 3s to Omega 6s, as well as Omega 9s, the healthy fatty acids). Garlic has long been touted as a cure-all medicinal, and is especially noted for its anti-inflammatory properties and its function as an immune support. Nutritional experts disagree about its benefits, but they concur that there’s nothing wrong with eating garlic if you don’t mind having a little garlic breath!

Olive oil has deep roots.  Athletes in ancient Greece routinely rubbed it all over their bodies, the tombs of martyrs and saints were blessed with this liquid gold dripping in through the cracks.  Throughout time, it has been more than mere food.  The olive tree, a symbol of great abundance, lends itself to the endless fascination and wonder of its medicinal properties.  Though incorporating fat in the diet remains highly controversial, this is not a fat to be scared of.  As a traditional fat and staple in some of the world’s healthiest cultures, it wasn’t until the 1920’s when European immigrants to the US began to spread the use of olive oil in American cooking.  And aren’t we glad they did.

Q: How do you make liquid gold?

A: Put 24 carrots in a soup!

We worked with Simeon Bittman, our executive chef, to test out this week’s recipe. All of the vegetables were grown in the Sterling Gardens. These carrots were trials that were grown out for High Mowing Seeds, and these carrots were not the cream of the crop. When we tasted the raw carrots, Simeon described their flavor as, “Blah.” He developed this recipe to try to spice them up a little, adding that “this is probably one of the better things that you can do with a not-so-great-tasting carrot.” When you’re cooking with local food, you sometimes have to deal with a not-so-great-tasting carrot in the kitchen. Cooking for college students also puts the pressure on when the goal is to create dishes that students will love, not dishes that end up in the compost.

garlicAfter learning these new ways of interacting with the always dependable root vegetables, it was a real treat to sit down and eat what we had made. Simeon plated the carrots in a crosshatch pattern on a rectangular piece of white flatware, and added a few fresh sprigs of rosemary as a garnish. When we tucked in, the carrots pulled apart smoothly in a full and fleshy bite. The pan-searing had caramelized the carrots’ natural sugars, and the spicy, salty tang of the garlic oil complemented this sweetness. We used the carrots to soak up the excess oil, and had no trouble finishing the plate. “I’m going to make this for my family for Thanksgiving,” Emma exclaimed as she licked her lips and reached for another bite.

Co-written by Emma Enoch and Ezra Fradkin.

Filed Under: Blog The Sterling Kitchen

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