Anise & Vanilla Carrots


Carrots are not often served cooked around here. Not because we don’t like them but because my kids will go through a five pound bag of organic carrots in about two if I want to do carrots I better have them on the menu for the day I shop.

These do not have a heavy flavor..the aroma of the anise and vanilla are delicate and the flavor is more of a nuance than anything. Still, they have a nice complex flavor, not too sweet,  and are a good side to chicken or pork. Probably fish too, but we don’t eat fish much. :)

These are not particularly sweet.  I added a little sugar to enhance the sugars in the carrots but don’t think of these as being glazed, because they aren’t.

I did these in the microwave, but you could do them on top of the stove. Don’t cook too long, you want them to have a little texture.  I just peeled the carrots and left them whole, but of course you could slice or julienne, adjust the cooking time accordingly.

I garnished with a little chopped parley for the picture..but if I had chopped mint I would have used that.

These would also be cool with a combination of the purple, red, and orange carrots, with maybe some parsnips thrown in as well.

Anise & Vanilla Carrots

  • 4 lbs carrots, peeled
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 inches of vanilla bean or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • coarsely ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

Place the lemon juice, zest, sugar, butter, anise, vanilla bean (if using extract add it after the sauce is cooked) , salt and pepper in a microwave save casserole or in a pan if you are using the stove.  Bring to a boil and remove from heat.  Allow to steep for about five minutes.

Add the carrots and cover.  Steam until the carrots are just tender, about 8 minutes.  If you are using the stove top do not let them boil dry-add a little water if needed.  Stir once in awhile and bring the sauce up over the carrots as they cook.

If you used vanilla extract add it just before serving.

Serves 8

Image:marye audet

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    • Dolores Olsen

      I just copied your recipe, It sounds wonderful.
      still have some in the garden I have been saving for something special. this is it!

    • Bunny

      I never would have thought of this Marye, this sounds good and different for carrots.

    • Marye

      thanks Bunny! :)

    • Jennifer

      Haven’t visited in a while so thought I might. I’m glad too, because I’m not a fan of glazed carrots – too much sweet. Mostly we eat everything steamed and plain – nothing added. That said, it’s nice to fancy stuff up if I have friends over, and these look awesome. I never would have thought to add vanilla to carrots.

      PS can you leave out the pepper, or would that be weird.

    • Marye

      leave it out if you want Jennifer…you have my permission

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