The abundance of various ingredients during summer is always a time for chefs to try creative things in perfecting a recipe. Winter isn’t associated with a good harvest, but the staple fruits and vegetables that are available all year around make for great recipes with their charming simplicity. As a child, carrots have often been given a negative reputation as rabbit food, or boring vegetables consumed only for their nutritional qualities. A slight reinvention of the term ‘cooked carrots’ can bring welcome smiles to anyone at the dinner table. Adding fresh shallots and herbs while cooking carrots gives them a nice savoury aroma, while a teaspoon of sugar brings out their natural sweetness. Boiling in broth instead of water adds that extra layer of taste. When I served this dish at a table full of adults, I was surprised how quickly it got eaten!
1 1/2 lbs carrot (about 8), peeled and trimmed
5 or 6 medium shallots, ends trimmed, peeled, and cut in half if large
1 cup lower salt chicken broth
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
Cut the carrots in half lengthwise. Holding your knife at a sharp angle, cut each half into ¼-inch thick slices to make half-moons.
Put the carrots and shallots in a 10 to 12 inch sauté pan and add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the vegetables.
Add the butter, sugar, and 2 tsp salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover the pan with the lid askew, reduce the heat to medium high, and cook at a steady boil, shaking the pan occasionally, until the carrots are tender but not soft; 8 to 10 minutes.
Uncover, add the thyme, and continue to boil until the liquid evaporates. Continue to cook the carrots and shallots over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to caramelize and turn golden brown; 3 to 4 minutes. Add salt to taste if necessary, and serve.