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.

Tags: Belgian, Dutch, french, Healthy, savory, simple

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Comments (45) Questions (0)


7 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!


about 2 years ago mlsparks

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


over 2 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!


over 3 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!


about 4 years ago ellenl

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


about 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


about 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.


about 4 years ago thirschfeld

fresh chervil is perfect


about 4 years ago wanderash

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


about 4 years ago thirschfeld

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


about 4 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Congrats on another wonderful looking dish thirschfeld!


about 4 years ago cheese1227

This is really lovely!!


about 4 years ago gingerroot

Congrats, thirschfeld! What a lovely, elegant dish.


about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Congrats, Tom. All your recipes are winners!


about 4 years ago Reeve

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


about 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.


about 4 years ago onetribegourmet

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


about 4 years ago TasteFood

Lovely recipe Tom - congratulations!


about 4 years ago wssmom

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


about 4 years ago Panfusine

Congratulations thirschfield, Simply elegant dish, looking fwd to making it!


about 4 years ago Lizthechef

Another "keeper". Congrats!


about 4 years ago TiggyBee



about 4 years ago SinfullySpicy

Amazing color.Love the simplicity of this dish.


about 4 years ago Midge

What a lovely recipe. Way to go thirschfeld.


about 4 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

WooHoo! Congrats, thirschfeld!


about 4 years ago dymnyno

This is on my dinner menu tonight! Congrats on making classic , healthy food.


about 4 years ago healthierkitchen

Another beautiful recipe, thirschfeld! Congrats.


about 4 years ago Table9

Well done. Well done.


about 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Yay!!!! I'm making these tomorrow night with our dinner! Congrats!!!


about 4 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I tasted braised lettuce for the first time in a tiny neighborhood French restaurant in SF years ago, and I've been working my way back to them ever since. This looks wonderful thirschfeld. Congratulations, and thank you!


about 4 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

Well done bro.


about 4 years ago arielleclementine

congratulations! sounds wonderful!


about 4 years ago WinnieAb

So lovely! Congrats :)


about 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Beautiful! They look like little Cleopatras reclining on a divan of soft lettuce.


about 4 years ago healthierkitchen

love your description!


about 4 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Stellar! Love the addition of the lettuce, and it would've never occured to me to add it.


about 4 years ago thirschfeld

thanks hardlikearmour


about 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Sounds delicious. Leave it to thirschfeld to make carrots look sexy.


about 4 years ago thirschfeld

thank you mrslarkin.


about 4 years ago student epicure

yum! every since i lived in china, i've loved cooked lettuce. i'll have to try this!


about 4 years ago thirschfeld

thank you student epicure. I like cooked lettuce in lots of other dishes too.


about 4 years ago onetribegourmet



about 4 years ago thirschfeld

thank you onetribegourmet