Today’s post/recipe is short, sweet and easy – in every sense of the word.
Carrots are good. Carrots are tasty. Carrots are naturally sweet.
Carrots are even better when smothered in something that will make them sweeter. Unless, of course, you’re a picky 15-year-old boy who will only eat carrots raw. But does that surprise anyone who reads my recipes? I didn’t think so.
But I digress.
The secret to good glazed carrots is not to overcook them. Actually, that’s the secret to cooking any vegetable, but it’s particularly bad for glazed carrots. Overcook glazed carrots and you’re stuck with a pot full of expensive baby food, depending on how much you paid for the carrots and what you glazed them with.
For this recipe I glazed them with honey, mostly because I had some Tupelo honey on hand (Tupelo honey has a strong, distinctive flavor that marries well with the carrots without overwhelming them) but you can substitute plain clover honey, an equal amount of pure maple syrup or even brown sugar, although I find brown sugar makes them a little too sweet.
At any rate, this a nice, quick side dish not only for those nights when you’re peering into the refrigerator thinking, “Egads, what am I going to make with the meatloaf this time??” but when you’re serving a main course that’s little more elegant/involved and don’t want to have to spend too much time on the sides.
Note: You can glaze the carrots in the same pan you cooked them in if you want to cut down on the cleanup, but the honey and butter will form a glaze more quickly if the second step is done in a wide, shallow skillet where the carrots won’t be crowded, which will help keep them from overcooking.
Honey Glazed Carrots
1 pound baby carrots
1 pound mature carrots, scraped and sliced thickly on the bias
1 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Tupelo honey (increase the amount by a tablespoon or two if using a milder honey such as clover)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Bring a quart of water to boil over high heat; add the salt and then the carrots. Lower the heat slightly and cook for 3 – 5 minutes, until tender crisp. Drain.
In a wide, heavy skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and add the carrots; stir to coat. Drizzle the carrots with the honey and increase the heat slightly and continue to cook for another 3 – 5 minutes until the honey and butter thickens and the carrots are nicely glazed. Season to taste with the pepper.