Thanksgiving appetizer : Apple butter BBQ roasted carrots.
Apple-butter BBQ sauce and a sprinkle of peanuts and pumpkin seeds makes these carrots special. Crunchy, sweet, tangy. Perfect for your Thanksgiving appetizer. Vegan, gluten free.
Look at my title! Are we already talking Thanksgiving? Really?
You might think it’s too early. But let me explain. In all the nice and established food blogs you’ll see excellent round ups for many thanksgiving recipes. They usually post it close to the feast day and can easily give you 30 to 50 scrumptious recipes that will make your whole party. But guys, I’m so very new to this camp! My blog is only 11 months old. And I do not have the resources for gathering up so many recipes. Newby handicap, mmh!
I would surely love to do a decent menu for the whole feast of-course. But again, I’m only able to post one recipe per week. So, we have to settle on 3 courses this year. We’ll cover the appetizer, entrée, and dessert. For the sides, let’s ask aunt Jane to bring her famous green bean casserole. And cousin Emma can dazzle the table with her fluffy dinner rolls she can’t stop talkin’ about! A happy thanksgiving meal is meant to be a shared thanksgiving meal after all! Where I come from, people feel the best when they share not only the food, but also the cooking (and credits!).
We only have 3 weeks to cover our portion of the menu. So today, let’s do the appetizer. You can give a trial run this week so that you’ll be all set during the main event.
Instead of the regular appetizers that appear in most of the parties, I’ve chosen these BBQ roast carrots. The main jazz factor about this is the barbeque sauce of-course! The star of the sauce is apple butter. Cool, huh? And yeah, bourbon! I'm from Kentucky, guys. What did you expect?!
Anyways, it’s a nuanced but complex flavor, you’ll see!
Topping the crisp roasted carrots with toasted peanuts and pumpkin seeds adds an extra layer of crunch. And of-course, the pumpkin seeds are a complement to the seasonal flare.
It’s really easy to make too. You can actually make the BBQ sauce a week ahead and refrigerate in an air-tight jar. Roasting the carrots will take only half an hour of your time (and oven space) on the day of the party.
Let's get started.
About the dish :
Course – Appetizer / side
Servings – 4
Difficulty level – Easy
Recipe type – Vegan, gluten free
Does it keep – Refrigerate for up to 2 days.
What you need :
For roasted carrots
8 medium or 6 large carrots
½ tablespoon olive oil (or avocado oil)
2 teaspoons dry thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
For barbeque sauce (makes a little more than 1 cup)
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon dry rosemary
¾ cup apple butter (sweetened)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon mustard (any kind)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons Bourbon whiskey
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon peanuts
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds (hulled)
What you do :
1. Pre-heat your oven at 400◦F /200◦C/ gas mark 6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or tin foil.
2. Peel and cut the carrots into pieces shaped like French fries, approximately 2 inches long and ¼ of an inch wide.
3. Toss them with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Spread on the prepared cookie sheet in one layer. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring once in the mid-point.
4. While the carrots are roasting, make the barbeque sauce. In a small sauce pan heat 2 tablespoons water and add the minced garlic, onion and ginger. Sauté until slightly brown (5-7 minutes). I always water sauté my aromatics, but you’re free to use your choice of oil or oil-spray.
5. Add rosemary. Cook for one more minute. Then remove from heat and let cool slightly.
6. Blend this whole mixture to a smooth puree. You might need to add 2-3 tablespoons of water to it while blending.
7. Add it back to the sauce pan. Add the rest of the ingredients from apple butter through liquid smoke. Put it on medium heat.
8. Bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer until the sauce thickens (20-30 minutes).
9. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
10. Now in a dry frying pan, add the nuts and seeds and toast on medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Chop the peanuts. Keep the pumpkin seeds whole.
11. In a platter arrange the roasted carrots in one layer. Drizzle with barbeque sauce (approximately 2 tablespoons per serving, you can adjust according to your taste) and sprinkle with nuts and seeds. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutritional info :
Carrots and toppings (per serving)
Calories – 73 Cal
Carbohydrate – 8 g
Protein – 2 g
Fat – 4 g
Saturated fat – 1 g
Sugar – 4 g
Sodium – 73 mg
Dietary fiber –2 g
Barbeque sauce (per 2 tablespoons)
Calories – 45 Cal
Carbohydrate – 11 g
Protein – 0 g
Fat – 0 g
Saturated fat – 0 g
Sugar – 9 g
Sodium – 108 mg
Dietary fiber –0 g
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I know this year we’ve been through a lot. But it still feels good to look forward to celebrate something. Anything! It whispers to us that happiness is still a real thing, and awakens a tiny bud in our heart called “hope”. So, let’s start the holiday cheers with this one today.
The crunch of the veggies, the totally Rockstar barbecue sauce, the extra oomph of peanuts and pumpkin seeds…. it’s not your average barbe guys! We don’t do “average” for thanksgiving. Nope!
Light, peace and avocados; from my heart to yours!
Do you have any questions? Any feedback after you’ve made it? I’d surely like to hear from you! Feel free to comment below.
11/11/2020, at 10.00 PM
The recipe looks great. Will like to try it sometime.😁
11/12/2020, at 9.54 AM
Thank you ! Let me know how it turns out for you.