Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Seared carrots with lemon brown butter

It's that time of year again when most people who eat locally are stuck with carrots and potatoes. This recipe is a beautiful way to prepare those boring old roots. It is simple, tangy, and, of course, buttery. In addition, searing is my new favorite method for cooking vegetables so don't be surprised to see more seared recipes. I like this method for vegetables that traditionally required braising, steaming, or boiling to get them cooked through (think Brussels sprouts). Searing gives you that slight caramelization that you often see in restaurants.


  • 1 bunch carrots
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 T butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Thoroughly scrub the carrots and trim off their tops. Leave as is or cut in half to make approximately 3 inch pieces.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Throw the carrots in the pan, sprinkle with salt, and cover. Don't disturb for about three minutes. This is where the magic happens. The heat caramelizes the carrot and releases water, but since the top is on, it turns to steam and steams the carrots, softening them up a bit. After a few minutes, toss the carrots around a bit in the pan. Cook for a few more minutes and then turn off the heat.

Meanwhile, heat the lemon juice over medium high heat in a small pan. Whisk in the butter a few pieces at a time. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, place the carrots on a plate and then pour the lemon butter on top. You can also serve with other seared vegetables, like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, or fennel bulbs.

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