How to Glaze Carrots and Other Vegetables for Better-Tasting Side Dishes Every Time!
Growing up, I always wondered why the vegetables served at good restaurants always tasted better than the one’s I boiled or steamed at home – wondering how they could boil vegetables so much better than I!?!
Well, eventually, I figured out that it wasn’t the way they prepared the vegetables that made the difference, it was the way they finished them off, by adding a quick vegetable glaze - a glaze sauce that truly makes a world of difference, especially when used on root vegetables, like carrots.
Glazed vegetables are lustrous and appetizing, and each cut piece of vegetable is perfectly seasoned with a flavorful half-absorbed buttery sauce – lovely stuff, and since it only takes about 1 minute to glaze up a batch of carrots or other rot vegetables, there no reason why you shouldn’t glaze every time.
How to Glaze Carrots
(This works equally well for other root vegetables)
- Boil your cut vegetables in well salted water until you have just barely reached the desired tenderness.
- Drain off all but 2 or 3 Tbls of liquid from the pot.
- Add in a Tbls or so of butter (more if you’re feeling decadent) and return the pot to the heat.
- Cook the vegetables, stirring, until the water and butter have combined to form a sauce and continue cooking until that sauce is almost completely absorbed into the carrots.
- Salt, taste and salt again.
It doesn’t sound like much, but taking the time to do this one extra step will transform an everyday side dish to something that will steal the limelight on any plate.
And when you get used to making this very simple glaze, you can move on to more advanced combinations!
A glaze is composed of a liquid and a fat that are simmered together to coat a vegetable. The simplest form of glaze is simply one like that described above, which uses butter and water, but you can bring more flavors to the party if desired.
More Carrot Glaze Ideas
- For carrots, a little sweetness works magic, and so to the above recipe, try sprinkling in a little brown sugar, maple syrup or honey
- Instead of just water for the liquid, try combining other flavorful variations, like vegetable or chicken stock, rum or bourbon, white wine or any number of juices (mmm…apple juice glazed butter carrots)
- You can also add in flavorings through the addition of herbs and spices. Flavors that go well with carrots include garlic, cumin, ginger, mint, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, or most any of the ‘sweet’ spices, such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice, coriander seed, etc. (remember that you can always add in more spice, so take it easy when adding flavorings to a glaze – you just want an accent, not an OVERPOWERING flavor!)
Once you get the hang of making a glaze, you can mix and match between different liquids,, fats, sugars and flavorings to create an infinite number of dinnertime variations.
Boiled carrots will never be boring again!