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Thomas Keller’s Glazed Carrots

Glazing is a perfect way to cook root vegetables and when done right, it results in tender, sweet-savory vegetables. There is sweetness from the small amount of added sugar along with the natural sugars in the vegetable. The goal is for the vegetables to become tender just as the water evaporates, leaving the butter and sugar to glaze them.

This recipe calls for fresh thyme, bay leaf, black peppercorns and kosher salt, but feel free to try seasonings like fresh rosemary or savory. If you’d like, sprinkle the vegetables with minced chives, Italian parsley and fleur de sel just before serving. Turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, celeriac, pearl onions and other root vegetables are also wonderful when glazed. If using a combination of vegetables, cook each one in a separate pan and combine them just before serving.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. baby carrots, peeled, tops trimmed to 1 inch
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste

Directions:

Place the carrots in a loose single layer in a sauté pan and add cold water just to cover them. Add the butter, sugar, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns and the 1/2 tsp. salt.

Bring the water to a boil, then adjust the heat and simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes. Ideally, the carrots will finish cooking while the liquid reduces to a glaze. If the carrots are tender before the liquid has reduced to a glaze, remove them and reduce the liquid to about 2 Tbs., then return them to the pan.

Season the carrots with salt and roll them around in the glaze to coat them thoroughly. (The carrots can be prepared a couple of hours in advance and held at room temperature.) Serves 2 to 4.

Adapted from Bouchon, by Thomas Keller (Artisan, 2004).