Balsamic Glazed Carrots
Hi guys! I'm here again with this month's instalment of the column I write for my local newspaper, The Hinton Voice.
[September is here, and with it – my favorite season of all time – fall.
Pumpkin spice lattes aside, it’s also the time of year when all of the hard work put in during the spring and summer gardening has finally come to fruition. The first year I started gardening I planted the basics –tomatoes and carrots. Easy beginner veggies that pair really well together for companion gardening. It took me a few seasons before I finally figured out how to grow edible tomatoes (now I can’t keep up with them all!) but carrots have always been something that I have found really easy to grow. My grandparents live on Vancouver Island, a noticeably different growing climate than we have here. Each year it’s always a race to see who has edible goodies in their garden’s first. Generally most of the time my Gramps wins, but ever since the race began, my carrots have always been ready to eat first. He generally plants his garden well before mine, but for the most part, my carrots always seem to come in first.
A few seasons in I got wise and figured out how to stagger planting seeds a few weeks apart so that I have just enough carrots ready at a time. These balsamic carrots are one of my favorite ways to use them, and make a great side for a weeknight roasted chicken or a Thanksgiving turkey feast. The honey and sugar makes a sweet crust on the carrots, while the vinegar cuts the sweetness with a bit of sour and creates a glaze. You can adjust the vinegar or sugars depending on if you like more sweet or sour, but I like this combination the best myself!]
Recipe makes 4-6 servings
- 12 or so medium, whole carrots
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme, optional
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Chop the leafy tops off the carrots leaving about ½ an inch of the green on the top (you can cut the tops off if you like, I just like the aesthetic appeal that leaving a bit of green on the top gives – it also helps keep the carrots as fresh as possible until the very last second).
Scrub the carrots well, and then pat dry. Place them on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper and a few springs of fresh thyme if you have it. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the carrots are about 2/3 cooked.
Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by combining the vinegar, maple syrup or honey and brown sugar in a small saucepan and heating over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Alternately, you can place the ingredients in a microwave safe dish and heat for 30-60 seconds or so to get the same result.
Pour glaze over carrots and return to oven for a remaining 10-15 minutes, until the glaze is bubbling and the carrots are completely cooked. Stir the carrots immediately after removing them from the oven to coat them with the glaze – the glaze will thicken as it cools.
Serve with a few more springs of fresh thyme.
Nutritional Info (1/6th of recipe)
Calories - 108 Fat – 2 Carbs – 22 Protein - 2 Fibre – 4