Last week we were graced with an abundance of carrots in our Winter CSA shares: earthy and sweet. Carrots are an often overlooked vegetable. But what would a hearty beef stew or a creamy, yet biting, coleslaw be without them? They’re excellent shaved into salads and cut into thick coins for soups. Carrots add an incredible depth of flavor to many dishes.
Carrots are a fabulous addition to the Thanksgiving table, too! Maple glazed carrots, especially. (And, don’t forget to reserve the trimmed ends of your carrots to stick in the roasting pan with your turkey, along with some onions, apples, garlic, and herbs!)
There are so many ways to prepare maple glazed carrots. If butter is your thing, this recipe from Saveur delivers by braising carrots in plenty of melted butter and maple syrup; this recipe also adds thyme and the sweet and savory combo of maple syrup and thyme is a winner. Other recipes, like this one from Real Simple, simmer the carrots in just enough flavor for a lighter take on the dish. And this recipe from Cooking and Beer takes everything up a big notch with the additions of brown sugar, dill, and *bourbon.*
These stove-top recipes are great if your oven is busy roasting your turkey, but if you have any spare space, consider making maple glazed carrots in the oven – or at least finishing them in there. The oven encourages the butter and maple syrup to caramelize, and it is divine. This recipe from Martha Stewart shows you how its done: It combines carrots and parsnips (skip the parsnips if you don’t have them and either double the carrots or halve the maple glaze), and adds *bacon* and thyme. It does require a hot oven (450*) and takes about 45 minutes to make, so this may be a make-ahead dish that can be warmed back up in the oven next to the turkey.
There are plenty of adornments to consider for this dish, too. Regardless of which recipe you go with, consider finishing your carrots with toasted pecans, slices of clementine or orange, a dash of lemon juice, or crumbled bacon. A sprinkle of fresh herbs almost isn’t an option; try thyme, dill, chives, or tarragon.