Saturday, November 6, 2010

Braised Maple Tarragon Carrots

Oh, carrots are divine,
You get a dozen for a dime, it's maaagic.
They fry, a song begins; they roast and I hear violins, it's magic.
Why do I kid myself?
Other loves that I have are all really few.
When in my heart I know, the magic's my love for you.

So sang Bugs Bunny in the 1951 classic, Rabbit Every Monday, and more passionate words may never have been spoken (or sung) about the wonders of the humble yet wondrous Daucus carota. We all grew up hearing about how good carrots are for our eyesight - well, did you ever see a rabbit with glasses? - but they have many other virtues, including their beautiful orange color, their relative cheapness, and their ready availability. It recently occurred to me that I haven't posted many recipes for "side" dishes, which is silly, since these ostensibly supporting players can often be the best part of a meal. These braised carrots were certainly delicious enough to merit the rhapsodizing of the most cotton-tailed, wise-cracking member of the Leporidae family (even my vegetable-suspicious youngest son ate two huge helpings, which constitutes a Total Win). I made them as an accompaniment for shepherd's pie, and they were such a success I can see them reappearing in many future meals, including this year's Thanksgiving. As Bugs muses in Mad as a Mars Hare (1963), having been lured aboard Marvin the Martian's spaceship by an aluminum vegetable decoy, "Why do I love carrots anyway? There isn’t much meat on them. But I love em! I love 'em! I love 'em! I love 'em!"

Braised Maple Tarragon Carrots
~ 1 lb. carrots, cut diagonally into (approximately!) 1/8" discs
~ 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
~ 1 tsp. each: salt, dried tarragon
~ 1/4 cup maple syrup
~ 1/2-3/4 cup vegetable broth

~ In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil, then add the carrots, salt, and tarragon.
~ Stir to coat, and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes.
~ Add the maple syrup and 1/2 cup of broth, stir to combine, then cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally,  for 20 minutes or until the carrots are tender. (If things get too sticky, you can add more broth.)
~ Remove the lid, raise the heat to high, and cook another 5 minutes, stirring, until the coating thickens and starts to brown and form a glaze.
~ Serve hot: that's all folks!

1 comment:

  1. Maple syrup makes everything better - I should use it more. Hmmm.