Carrots go so well with honey and citrus flavours. If you vary the type of honey you use you can change this dish each time you make it. Switch the lemon for lime juice and zest and add a teaspoon of toasted cumin, especially if you are serving the carrots as part of a middle-eastern dinner. These are good served at room temperature too.
450g carrots, cut into thin batons
300ml chicken stock/water
1 tablespoon of honey
1 lemon, juice and zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Cook the carrots in the butter and stock or water until they are cooked through but not soft (it will take only a few minutes so watch that they don’t over-cook). Drain. Add the honey and lemon juice and zest and cook over gentle heat turning the carrots carefully to coat them in the honey. Season to taste.
– You can also bake the carrots in the oven instead of simmering them in stock or water. Put them in a baking dish, brush with the honey, squeeze over the lemon juice and zest, toss and bake at 200C/400F/Gas 6 until golden and soft.
– Purist foodies need to avert their gaze now: instead of honey use Golden syrup or a maple-flavoured syrup. It’s the same as using caster sugar. If you don’t have honey or syrup use 1/2 tablespoon of caster, cane or demerara sugar.
– Vegans can omit the butter, it’s there to give shine to the carrots.
– Sprinkle the carrots with any chopped fresh herbs before serving, mint, basil, parsley, oregano, savoury or add 1/2 teaspoon of dried herbs to the butter and fry them before adding the carrots, stock, honey and lemon juice. Frying dried herbs first brings out their flavour.
– How long do you cook vegetables for? The general rule is that vegetables should be cooked in as little liquid as possible and they should be cooked just long enough so they are nice to eat (not tough) but cooked through. You should not have to actually ‘bite’ into a cooked carrot – it should still have shape and not collapse but you shouldn’t feel that you have to work at it to cut it with your teeth. It should yield!
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