Friday, April 28, 2006
SLOW-BROWNED CARROTS WITH BUTTER
I think this is from The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook, the one book by Jack Bishop I don’t own. I photocopied it ages ago and stuck it in the front pocket of my three-ring recipe binder with a bunch of other recipes I’ve been meaning to try, and there it sat. Although it sounded delicious, I kept chickening out—after all, I still think of myself as a cooked-carrot hater, though I’ve been eating them lo these many years. If I embrace cooked carrots, will green peppers be next? Perish the thought!
But then I needed a side dish to go with Italian-Style Meatloaf (yes, I made it again; told you it was good!) on a Sunday evening, and this seemed perfect. It even cooks on the stovetop for about the same amount of time that the meatloaf cooks in the oven. It was a cinch to make—barely needs your attention once you get it going—and it tasted great. Since Jack’s description is accurate, I’ll just quote him: “This dish is so basic—carrots, butter, and salt—that you may think, ‘Who needs a recipe?’ But slow-cooking the carrots in a little butter intensifies their flavor and makes them incredibly sweet.” Who could resist?
I didn’t try this with the Parmesan cheese, even though it sounded delicious. I wanted to be sure I was tasting the carrots on their own terms the first time around, and besides, meatloaf isn’t exactly light to begin with. Next time, though, I’m going for it. (Postscript from October 2008: I have never actually gotten around to trying these with the cheese. They're so very good on their own.)
By the way, now that the process of moving my archives from Diaryland to Blogspot is finally on the verge of completion, I promise more new posts in the next week.
5 large carrots (about 1¼ pounds)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Peel and cut the carrots on the bias into ¼-inch thick ovals. (Be sure to keep them thin—a few of my slices got too thick and didn’t become as tender as they should have. Also, if your carrots are organic and fairly tender, you can skip the peeling; I always do.)
2. Place the carrots and butter in a large skillet. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until the carrots shrink and start to brown, 1¼ to 1½ hours.
3. Season with salt to taste, sprinkle with Parmesan if desired, and serve immediately.
Serves: 4 as a side dish
Time: 90 minutes