Glazed Carrots with Braised Bibb Lettuce

By • February 28, 2011 45 Comments

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Author Notes: I am not sure when my fascination with carrots began but it wasn't as a kid. I really don't think I thought much about carrots until I started growing them in my garden. I think the fact that a good carrot in the middle of winter taste so good and feels so completely nourishing while you are eating it they are hard to pass up. This recipe uses classic technique, yet, is really simple. I find this recipe to be old school Flemish/Belgian and borderline Dutch. The first time I made it years ago I had my doubts about the lettuce addition but they quickly dissolved into bliss. As always the best and freshest produce you can lay you hands on is always going to make the best food. - thirschfeldthirschfeld

Food52 Review: This recipe relies on classic technique, yet it's by no means conventional. (If you're imagining little hexagonal barrels of carrot, fear not: thirschfeld forgoes such formalities, preferring to highlight the vegetables in their natural state.) He takes whole carrots (with their tops on) and gently simmers them in water laced with plenty of butter, a little vinegar, sugar, salt, bay leaf and thyme; as they cook, the liquid reduces and gently lacquers the carrots. At the very end, you add the lettuce leaves to the pan and let them wilt for a few seconds, letting their crevices absorb the fragrant, buttery glaze. -A&MThe Editors

Serves 4

  • 16 carrots with tops (you can tell how fresh the carrots are by the tops), not more than 3/4 inch in diameter, peeled and trimmed with 1 inch of top left on
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • A few grinds of white pepper
  • 6 Bibb lettuce leaves, larger ones torn in half
  1. Place everything, except the lettuce, in a 12-inch, heavy bottomed saute pan. Add about 1 cup of cold water to the pan, or just enough to reach an 1/8 inch from the tops of the carrots. (Don't add more than a 1 1/2 cups to start.)
  2. Place the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. The idea here is to have the water all but evaporate at the same time as the carrots finish cooking, leaving you with a rich and delicious glaze to coat and be poured over the dish. If the water seems to be evaporating before the carrots are close to being done, you can add a little more. At the same time, if the carrots seem to be getting too done, remove them from the pan. Reduce the glaze, and then at the end, add the carrots back to warm them and to cook the lettuce.
  3. The whole idea here is to have a tender carrot that is not mushy, yet not so hard that when you cut it, it shoots across the table. It is timing, and you can always use a toothpick to test the fattest part of the carrot -- it should yield with pressure. As the water gets close to being gone, add the lettuce. Let the lettuce wilt and get soft (this will only take about 30 seconds). You want it to be vibrant green but tender like cooked spinach. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Plate, drizzle the glaze over the veggies and serve.

More Great Recipes: Vegetables|Side Dishes

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Comments (45) Questions (0)


11 months ago Leah

This turned out great! I subbed out the white wine vinegar for apple cider vinegar, and it was still fantastic. Thanks!


over 1 year ago Ashley Marie

Super yummmy! You do have to watch them carefully to make sure they don't get mushy - it happens quick! But they were a hit in my house last night!


over 2 years ago mlsparks

Wow made these delicious!!! :) Thanks for the great recipe


almost 3 years ago McRose

I added little slices of sweet potatoes and some cinnamon, and used black pepper instead of white because I didn't have any on hand, and it turned out amazing! Love this recipe, thank you!


over 3 years ago Celestyyne

This was the perfect solution for my excess quantity of carrots. Simple and incredibly delicious - thank you!


almost 4 years ago KristaFriday

I'm feeling under the weather with an early fall cold, and this looks like just the ticket for a light little dinner. Thanks!


over 4 years ago ellenl

I don't know how I missed this recipe. Fabulous!


over 4 years ago Oui, Chef

This is a great looking dish, and your simplified classic approach (thank you for not making us "turn" the carrots), is the perfect treatment for these lovelies. - S


over 4 years ago TasteFood

I made this over the weekend. The carrots were a perfect accompaniment to salmon. They were light, elegant and easy to make while entertaining. I sprinkled them with fresh chervil I happened to have - just to emphasize spring.


over 4 years ago thirschfeld

fresh chervil is perfect


over 4 years ago wanderash

Nice recipe. I can't wait to try it! Congrats!


over 4 years ago thirschfeld

Thanks everyone for all your kind words I really appreciate it greatly


over 4 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Congrats on another wonderful looking dish thirschfeld!


over 4 years ago cheese1227

This is really lovely!!


over 4 years ago gingerroot

Congrats, thirschfeld! What a lovely, elegant dish.


over 4 years ago Sagegreen

Congrats, Tom. All your recipes are winners!


over 4 years ago Reeve

Sounds like a great recipe, I'll definitely have to give it a try!


over 4 years ago Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

To me, this one is totally Flemish, making it a doubly well-rooted recipe! I especially like the presentation of the whole carrots, keeping a little top. And I sometimes think there's too much sugar in some of our recipes, but in this case that sugar is really important. I'd say I'm rooting for you, but that would make for too many puns in one short post.


over 4 years ago onetribegourmet

Congrats! Just voted for you! Good Luck! :)


over 4 years ago TasteFood

Lovely recipe Tom - congratulations!


over 4 years ago wssmom

Delightful and kudos on being a finalist! Again! Well-deserved!