I’m always on the lookout for innovative recipes, especially when it comes to side dishes. One recent Sunday morning, in the newspaper Parade supplement on the Community Table page, was an article by Top Chef judge Graham Elliot. It featured Ginger-Glazed Carrots with Toasted Spices. Maybe you saw it too?
It’s a creative riff on glazed carrots, a comforting cool-weather veggie. We discovered toasting the spices lent depth while braising the carrots in carrot juice, along with honey, underscored their natural sweetness. An unexpected shower of chopped carrot tops added a peppery finishing touch for an upscale twist on this familiar side dish. I had never used the root greenery before, so I was intrigued, and pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
Unfortunately our supermarket wasn’t carrying the mixed colors so we bought a bunch of the smaller fresh orange carrots. Make sure to give them a good bath because the fresh ones can be a bit gritty.
Since ours were small and tender, the cooking times varied a bit in Step 3. Instead of covering for 20 minutes, it only took ours 15. On the other hand, the 10 minute timeframe to cook uncovered was actually more like 13 for the sauce to reduce down to a nice caramelly syrup.
They really complemented our meal of braised lamb shanks and crispy roasted potatoes. It could be a great addition to a fancy—or not—dinner that you are serving up over the holidays!
If you fall into the minority of people who don’t like cooked carrots, give these puppies a try, I bet you’ll change your mind…
Somehow I staged a lemon in with the ingredients photo—it’s not supposed be there!
- 1½ lb carrots (mix of orange, white, purple, red), with tops
- 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp green cardamom seeds
- 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, crushed
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup carrot juice
- ¼ cup honey
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Toasting the cardamom and coriander seeds. If you have cardamom pods (like shown in the photo) make sure to crack them open to get at the seeds. You don’t want to throw the whole pod in!
Melt the butter with the toasted seeds.
After the butter melts, add the carrots and ginger; toss to coat. Stir in the carrot juice and honey and bring to a boil.
For the last 10 minutes (or longer), uncover the skillet and increase heat to medium-high and cook until carrots are tender and most of liquid has evaporated and is a bit syrupy.
- Remove tops from carrots; reserve. Peel carrots; cut into 1-inch pieces. Wash and dry carrot tops; chop enough to equal ⅓ cup.
- Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add coriander and cardamom; cook 1-2 minutes or until toasted. Add butter; melt. Add carrots and ginger; toss to coat. Stir in carrot juice and honey. Bring to a boil.
- Cover, reduce heat to low and cook 20 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium-high and cook 10 minutes or until carrots are tender and most of liquid has evaporated. Discard ginger. Stir in chopped carrot tops. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
They make a beautiful presentation on the dinner plate.