Instead of a traditional green bean casserole, opt for carrots smothered in a sweet, sticky glaze as a vegetable accompaniment to your turkey. This root vegetable is full of antioxidants and nutrients, and they are in season in the fall months, meaning the flavors are at their peak. To obtain the best flavor in the dish, Chef Rivers shares his secret to carrot selection: selecting bright orange carrots that are firm to the touch. Make sure to avoid carrots that are limp, sprouted, or that have soft spots of large, green areas at the crown. While cooking carrots brings out their natural sweetness, the core of older or larger carrots can be woody and taste bitter. So before cooking, remove the cores to avoid flavors that aren’t so nice.
Maple-Glazed Carrots by Chef John Rivers of The COOP
· 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
· 2 pounds baby carrots
· 4 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
· ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional to taste
· 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar, divided
· 4 teaspoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided
· Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add carrots, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, and salt. Sauté until carrots are coated with butter mixture, about 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar and enough water to almost cover carrots; cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
Boil, covered, 2 minutes. Uncover and boil until liquid is reduced to syrup and carrots are tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons maple syrup and 2 tablespoons vinegar to carrots and toss over medium-high heat until carrots are thickly coated with glaze, about 3 minutes.
Stir in 2 teaspoons parsley. Season carrots to taste with more salt and a generous amount of pepper.
Transfer carrots to a serving bowl and sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons parsley.