adapted from Cooking for Jeffery: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Yield: 4 luncheon servings, 6 dinner servings
2 pounds carrots, with leafy tops
Good extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup pure Maple syrup
2/3 cup dried cranberries
2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice, about 2 large oranges
3 Tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 ounces baby arugula
6 ounces Montrachet goat cheese, diced
2 cups, roasted and salted Marcona almonds
Preheat oven 425° F.
Prepare the carrots by trimming and scrubbing. Large carrots, those over 1 inch in diameter, should be cut in half lengthwise. On the diagonal, cut carrots into 2-inch chunks. Place the carrots into a large bowl. Toss the carrots to coat with 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper. Spread the carrots between two baking sheets (Using two sheets avoids crowding and enables the carrots to roast as opposed to steam.) Roast the carrots for 20 minutes toss/stir the carrots once during the roasting. When the carrots are tender, transfer them all to one baking sheet. Pour the maple syrup over the carrots and toss to coat. Continue roasting until the edges of the carrots caramelize, about another 10 to 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they do not burn. Remove from the oven, toss and set the carrots aside.
In a small saucepan, combine the cranberries and orange juice. Bring the mixture to a simmer and set aside for 10 minutes.
To make the vinaigrette, combine the sherry wine vinegar, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt. Add 3 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and whisk to mix.
In a large salad bowl, place the arugula, carrots, the cranberries and liquid, goat cheese, almonds, and the vinaigrette. Toss together. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Serve the salad at room temperature.