Thursday, December 17, 2015

Honey Balsamic Braised Carrots with Salsa Verde - 52 Side Dishes

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Here's a fun side dish, especially when you are able to find the colored carrots.

I had a jar of pickled beets that a friend gave me as a gift.  I added a few to the dish for an extra layer of flavor.... Optional, but will certainly add something to the look and flavors.

I have made this dish for years, but to be honest it was always just a little too bland to blog about.  Just soft carrots.  The addition of the Balsamic Vinegar and honey sauce adds a bit, but I finally hit on a total combination that makes the dish as full of flavors and as tasty as it looks...

The addition of a spicy slightly sweet Salsa Verde (Salsa made with Tomatillos, Onions, Garlic, Jalapenos and herbs (Click HERE for the recipe) what truely separates this dish from the rest.

SO, a beautiful side dish, easy to assemble and make, and finally the flavors that will live up to the image... Happy Holidays and ENJOY!

 OK... Here's what I did...

Honey Balsamic Braised Carrots with Salsa Verde

  • 1 Pound Carrots, peeled, cut into even sizes if needed
  • 1/2 Pound Pickled Beets
  • 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1 TBS Fresh Herbs (I used Dill, almost any would do, Rosemary, Thyme, Basil, etc.)
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh made Salsa Verde (see recipe below)
Cooking Directions
  1. Prepare the carrots, peeled, tips and ends removed, if needed, cut so the pieces are all close to the same size.
  2. Heat the balsamic vinegar over medium high heat in a frying pan. Add the carrots and stir to coat. Cover and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes until the carrots have softened.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Transfer the carrots to an oven safe baking dish, stir in the pickled beets for an even mixed look. reserve the balsamic vinegar. Add the honey to the vinegar and whisk to combine. Coat the carrots in the honey/balsamic.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes until the carrots get a "cooked Look" with slight char marks.
  6. Add a sprinkle of herbs and a generous garnish of the Salsa Verde (recipe Below).
  7. Serve warm and ENJOY!

 And for the Salsa Verde... Here's what I did...

Salsa Verde

  • 6 Medium Tomatillos, Husks removed and washed, end tips cut off
  • 5 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Small/Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 2 Large Jalapenos, Stems, seeds and white membrane removed, Rough Dice
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 TBS Honey (more if needed to taste, can add sugar also)
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Cilantro
Cooking Directions
  1. Place the Tomatillos, Garlic, Onion, Jalapeno and Sea Salt in a medium size sauce pan. Add just enough water to cover and heat to simmer over medium high heat.
  2. Simmer until the Tomatillos have softened and a knife can be inserted freely... About 6-8 minutes. Be careful not to overcook.
  3. Drain the water and transfer to a blender or the small bowl of a food processor. Add the Honey and the Cilantro leaves and Pulse/blend until smooth, BUT you can stills see small chunks of Tomatillo and Onion and flecks of Cilantro.
  4. Taste. Adjust Honey, Salt and any additional seasonings you might prefer (Cayenne Pepper Spice if extra heat is needed)'
  5. Serve room temperature or chilled as a condiment and ENJOY!


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Ways to Cook Side Dish Recipes"!!!

Sure the meat gets all the glory but real cooks know it's the spread... the specialty Side Dishes that makes a meal rise or fall. Here's a few of my favorite recipes that will help to create that illusive COMPLETE MENU!

LOTS of Potato Sides, Vegetable Sides, Specialty Salads, Bread and MORE!


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