I used to have this weird habit of going to the gym and watching the Food Network while I worked out. I personally didn’t think is was at all strange, but other people sure did. There was this perfect little window of time where I was the only one in the cardio room, (it was a very small gym) and I would always turn the news off and tune all the tv’s to the food channel.
I wasn’t aware that my habits were strange until one day I left a little late, and there was a big group of girls headed in for some cardio. I heard one of them say, ‘what’s up with the Food Network everyday, I mean who watches something like that while working out, that’s just too much temptation’?
Since I have little to no shame I told her unabashedly that it was me. She looked at me like I came from another planet, and I walked out of the room. Later that night I made something from Giada’s channel for dinner and thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve never been the kind of person that works out to have the perfect body, no… I work out so that there can be indulgences in my life (well, and I guess I do like the benefits of feeling better too).
Anyways… super long story short, I think these carrots originated from one of those workout sessions. I have an inkling that they were the original creation of Tyler Florence, but I really can’t be sure. In any rate, they’ve been landing on my table for over 10 years now, and everyone absolutely loves them.
You don’t have to do whole roasted carrots, but they do make for a more dramatic presentation if you’re entertaining. I’ve often made big batches of these for Thanksgiving, and instead of using the oven to roast them, (because lets face it the poor oven is always maxed out on Thanksgiving) I chop them and steam them on the stovetop, and then toss them with the glaze right before serving. This method is the easiest when you’re feeding a crowd, but if you do have room in the oven, I think roasting them is just that much better.
For making the browned butter, it’s always best to use a pot with a lighter colored bottom so you can see when it’s browned. Many nonstick pans are black which makes it difficult to draw the line between browned and black.
It’s important to swirl the pan or whisk the butter often as it begins to brown, otherwise the when the milk solids separate they will sink the the bottom and burn if it’s not stirred.
One thing I’ve just started doing recently is buying the poultry medley of herbs at the store. It’s a budget friendly way to have a variety of fresh herbs around for just $2. I often find it difficult to use an entire box of sage or thyme (we never have problems using up rosemary) before they start turning brown, so a mix has been perfect for us.
Tip: Separate out the 3 different herbs when you get home and store them individually in the fridge. Both thyme and sage seem to go bad faster than rosemary.
There’s nothing quite like browned butter combined with fresh herbs, and I think you’ll find yourself wanting to mop up any leftover glaze right off the pan! We rarely make side dishes, usually preferring one pot kind of meals, but a full flavored side dish like this needs nothing more than a simple entree such as Tuscan Style Steak, or it could even be served with a simple bowl of polenta to catch any extra glaze.
- 1 bunch of carrots, 1 pound, less than 1" in diameter
- 2 Tablespoons salted butter
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh sage, 2 grams
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut off the carrot tops leaving a small amount of green for presentation if you'd like. Wash and peel them, then place them on the baking sheet.
- Melt the butter in a small, light colored saucepan over medium-high heat. Swirl the pan or whisk often until the butter turns golden brown.
- Add the sage and maple syrup and simmer for 1-2 minutes.
- Pour the glaze over the carrots and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until crisp tender. Check the carrots halfway through the baking time, and if the gaze is browning too much on the edges, rotate the carrots and stir glaze into the middle of the baking sheet before returning the pan to the oven to finish roasting.
- Serve immediately.
Sometimes I put these carrots over a bowl of polenta or risotto. When I serve them this way, I make a bit more glaze by increasing the butter to 3 Tablespoons and the maple syrup to 2 Tablespoons.
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