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 days..so 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.