Brown Sugared Carrots
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds carrots, all a similar size and thickness, peeled and quartered lengthwise, tops reserved for garnish
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1/2 to 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 sprig rosemary
I love using carrots with tops, if available. I like to chop some of the tops and sprinkle them over the carrots like parsley. I also have been known to fry the tops and put them over these carrots for garnish and texture. This is my ultimate comfort food. Whenever I was home sick from school, I would make my mother drag out her arsenal of recipes to make me "better" and this is one of them...
In a skillet large enough to hold the carrots, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil begins to smoke lightly, add the carrots and season with salt and black pepper. Using a wooden spoon, stir the carrots to coat with the oil and seasonings.
After the carrots have cooked for a few minutes, add the brown sugar and molasses and continue to cook, stirring from time to time. Add a little water so they can become tender without burning the sugar. Continue to cook until tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add more water, if needed, but the sauce should be thick enough to coat the carrots and should bubble around the edges of the pan. The carrots should be tender and fairly yielding when pierced with the tip of a knife. Add the butter and the rosemary sprig. Once the butter has melted remove the rosemary sprig and discard. Transfer the carrots to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped carrot tops. Serve immediately or allow to "rest" a little before serving.
Recipe courtesy Alex Guarnaschelli