Carrots are the redheaded stepchildren of vegetables. We take them for granted in our salads and side dishes and munch on them begrudgingly when we’re dieting. But at Parma Italian Roots, the carrot is celebrated and given its own spot of honor on the menu.
Lathered in olive oil, lemon and lime juice, salt and pepper and a touch of honey, the wood-oven carrots ($9) are slipped into the heat and kissed by mesquite flames. With the tops still attached, the al dente orange, yellow and purple carrots emerge singed and slightly withered, but sweet and as fragrant as a campfire. Chef Andres Sanchez places the rainbow carrots on a swipe of richly layered, house-made mascarpone and crème fraîche with honey that mixes effortlessly with the olive oil-slathered carrots.
On top, he drapes a chimichurri-like green salsa laden with cilantro, chile flakes, lemon juice and a dash of anchovies – a deal-breaking detail for hardcore vegetarians, but one that helps the dish hit every taste and texture zone from sweet and tangy to buttery and charred. While the sauce is head-turning, vegetarians can ask for the carrots sans salsa and still enjoy these taproots to the hilt. Yep, the slender, smoky devils are that good.
Parma Italian Roots
20831 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale