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To celebrate spring, Carla Hall, renowned chef, author, and television host, offers two delicious recipes that make carrots the star ingredient of the season.

“The thing I love most about the humble carrot is its versatility. It can be a snack, a salad, a dessert, a side dish or the basis for most soups and sauces,” says Hall.

McCormick spices agrees, reporting that recipe searches for roasting carrots is trending over the past year in internet searches and on their website, making it the perfect choice for vibrant spring dishes.

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With roasted veggies on people’s minds, Hall created Roasted Carrots-in-a Blanket – a fun, carrot-y spin on the traditional pigs-in-a-blanket. The roasted carrots, seasoned with paprika, ground mustard, and rosemary, are wrapped in a light and flaky pastry.

CARROTS-IN-A-BLANKET

• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

• 2 tablespoons orange juice

• 2 teaspoons honey

• 1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Organic Ground Coriander

• 1 teaspoon McCormick Ground Mustard

• 1 teaspoon McCormick Paprika

• 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Rosemary Leaves, lightly crushed

• 1 teaspoon kosher salt

• 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Black Pepper Grinder

• 1 package (16 ounces) baby carrots

• 3 cans (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent roll dough

CARROT MUSTARD SAUCE

• 2 1/2 cup French’s Stone Ground Dijon Mustard

• 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon

• 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Black Pepper Grinder

• 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Pure Lemon Extract

• 1/4 cup water

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix butter, orange juice, honey, spices, salt and pepper in large bowl. Add carrots; toss to coat well. Arrange carrots in single layer on large parchment-lined sheet pan.

2. Roast 20 to 25 minutes or just until tender. Allow to cool slightly.

3. For the Carrot Mustard Sauce, transfer 1/2 cup of the roasted carrots to blender container or food processor. Add mustard, spices, extract and water. Cover. Purée until completely smooth. Set aside.

4. Unroll crescent dough onto clean surface (do not separate triangles). Brush about 2 tablespoons of the Carrot Mustard Sauce evenly over each sheet of crescent dough. Reserve remaining sauce for serving. Use a pizza cutter to cut along perforations, then cut each triangle lengthwise into three separate triangles. Place one cooled carrot on the wide side of each dough triangle, then roll towards pointy ends to wrap carrots in dough. Place wrapped carrots tail-end down about 1 inch apart on parchment-lined sheet pan.

5. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until dough is golden brown, rotating pan halfway through cooking. Serve warm with remaining sauce for dipping.

Makes 32 servings.

Hall also came up with a Warm Carrot Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing.

Layers of roasted carrots are lightly spiced with cayenne and black pepper to complement naturally sweet Granny Smith apples, golden raisins, and pineapple. A simple, creamy lemon dressing drizzled on top adds a slightly tangy pop to finish this bright and colorful dish.

Here, Hall shares some clever tips for creating carrot-inspired meals:

• To make the most of your time in the kitchen, peel your carrots using up and down strokes to make sure there are no wasted movements, and you get the job done faster.

• Or buy carrot sticks or baby carrots to reduce prep and peeling time. You can quickly dice them at home for soups and stews.

• Carrots are beautiful and can be the star of your dish. Adding multi-hued carrots will make simple dishes appear fancy.

• You can use spices, herbs, and other ingredients as supporting cast members to add great flavor and make your dish taste even more amazing.

For Hall’s exclusive carrot recipes along with additional springtime dishes, visit www.mccormick.com.

This spring enjoy delicious foods with people you love. By utilizing the versatile carrot, you can put fun and tasty twists on classic recipes that will make any occasion special.

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