Carrots illustrate the height of pickiness in my family. Some of us prefer them cooked, some prefer them raw. When I serve them as a side dish I like to either pan saute them or braise them in the oven so they are cooked, but still have a bite to them. My kids love them cooked this way!
Balsamic Braised Carrots
3 cups peeled, trimmed carrots cut into whatever shape you like
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (or olive oil for vegan option)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch each of ground nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar*
1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave nectar
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all ingredients in an oven safe shallow baking dish. Cover and bake for 5-6 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 10 to 12 minutes more, stirring once or twice to coat the carrots and pecans. If pecans begin to brown to quickly, reduce heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove from oven and serve immediately. Serves 4.
*I like to have a nice assortment of vinegar in my pantry to provide variety in flavor for my dishes. I currently have plain distilled white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, unseasoned rice vinegar, both red and white balsamic vinegar and a good red wine vinegar stocked in my pantry. If you don’t have white balsamic vinegar on hand, apple cider vinegar would be just fine for this recipe.