Eat Every Carrot and Pea on Your Plate

By • March 1, 2011 18 Comments

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Author Notes: Carrots and peas are kind of a 1950's cliche--right? I mean, who hasn't seen packages of frozen carrots--hard orange square chunks--paired with peas--the big green starchy ones. If your family is like mine, this was considered healthy food when you were growing up. "Eat every carrot and pea on your plate," my Granny said. And that would just crack us up.

Peas and carrots look pretty together and don't have to be the flavorless starchy bombs of our youth. This recipe calls for frozen peas because it's still winter here, but would be great with fresh very sweet peas. You can get organic carrots in just about any grocery store--you want them to be as fresh and sweet as possible. I like using the very thin carrots because I'm not up for cutting carrots into little cubes (and anyway the thin ones are sweeter). You want the pieces to be small, so you may have to cut the top ends in half lengthwise before slicing.

You can defrost the peas in the microwave or in a bowl of water. You want them to be room temperature and fairly dry when you add them to the saute pan, or they will add a lot of water and you'll lose the butteriness of the dish.

You can lighten this up by using half butter and half chicken broth.

This is a great side dish for roast chicken or broiled fish. Finished with a little extra butter and some parmesan cheese, it could be a vegetarian main dish if you served it with brown rice.

Serves 4-6

  • 4 tablespoons butter (or 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons or so of chicken broth)
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 pound organic carrots, trimmed, peeled, and sliced into thin coins
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup frozen baby peas, defrosted, drained, and dried in a tea towel
  • 1/2-2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  1. Heat butter in large skillet (not non-stick) over medium high heat till it melts and begins to foam. When foaming subsides, reduce heat to medium and stir in chopped shallots. Saute till softened but not browned.
  2. Add carrots and salt and saute, stirring occasionally, till carrots soften slightly but are not mushy (about 3-5 minutes if the pieces are very small). (If you're using chicken broth, add it here as well. You may need to raise the heat slightly so the sauce reduces.) Scrape up any brown bits as you stir the carrots and shallots.
  3. Pour in peas, and stir together with carrots and shallots until the peas are heated through. Taste and add sherry vinegar a little at a time. The vinegar should sharpen the flavors of the carrots and peas, but should not make the dish taste vinegary.
  4. Stir in parsley and add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. And don't forget: Eat every carrot and pea on your plate!

More Great Recipes: Vegetables|Side Dishes

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