April 29, 2012

Maple Glazed Carrots

In early April, I was in Vermont, where spring was just beginning and maple syrup season was already in full swing and advertised everywhere.  Admittedly, most of my prior maple syrup knowledge comes from Laura Ingles Wilder stories, inspiring many failed attempts at making maple syrup candy made on a bed of snow.  Maple trees store starch in their roots during the winter and then converts that starch into sugar, which is held in the sap that rises in the tree during the spring.  Any number of maples, though predominately sugar, red or black, can be tapped in the spring to allow the sap to be collected, boiled to evaporate the water, creating thick syrup known as maple syrup.  The native peoples of North America have made maple syrup for hundreds of years, if not longer, and now the majority of the maple syrup consumed in the world is produced in Canada.  Maple syrup, composed mostly of sucrose and water, is an excellent replacement for other sweeteners and adds a rich earthy flavor to any number of dishes.  Maple glazed carrots are delicious with baked leeks and potato pancakes.

For Amy, who inspired these carrots.

4 medium carrots, quartered
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp maple syrup
salt and pepper
1. Melt the butter large pan over medium-low heat.  Add the onions and sauté until light golden brown.

2. Next, pour the maple syrup into the pan and stir to combine with the butter and onions.  Bring the maple syrup to a simmer, arrange the carrots evenly in the pan, cover and braise the carrots until just tender, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, 10-15 minutes.

3. Once the carrots are tender, remove them from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve the carrots warm or room temperature.  

Serves 3-4


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