It’s Not Always Bad to Cook Vegetables into Oblivion

February  8, 2018

While done-in-a-flash dishes power us through busy workweeks (and, to be honest, weekends, too), recipes that slow us down are just as important. By patiently, gently simmering, we witness something almost magical—ingredients transcend past the familiar into an entirely new state before our eyes. And that magical something is almost always delicious.

Back in 2012, then-new-mother Merrill Stubbs felt like time was flying by.

“When Clara was born, I felt like I had ages to plan her first meal, to come up with a long-term strategy. But then six months had passed, and I didn’t have a plan,” she said. “What I did have was a bounty of late-spring, early-summer produce.”

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Her solution was a technique that involves lots of olive oil and garlic, plus a long, slow cooking time: the Finamore method. Originally a used in a recipe for broccoli, Merrill decided to give braising carrots for an hour or two a try.

“The garlic and carrots melt sweetly together, slicked with olive oil, so that you get the sense you’re eating candy,” she reported.

Photo by Rocky Luten

The dish could not be easier: Peel your carrots and slice them into rounds, then smash some garlic. Add olive oil, the carrots, garlic, and some salt to a pot. Cook forever (an hour or two).

Once the carrots have broken down, you can either serve the confit-like substance as is, or (if you’re feeding a baby) you can mash the carrots gently.

Not only is the dish incredibly simple, it’s easy adjust to personal tastes. Try adding maple syrup, brown sugar, or honey for a sweeter mixture, or fresh herbs or vinegar for something more savory. Whatever you decide, take your time. Approach thoughtfully, and eat your efforts joyfully.

What's your favorite slow-cooked meal? Does it take all day? Tell us about it below!

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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Katie is a food writer and editor who loves cheesy puns and cheesy cheese.

1 Comment

FrugalCat April 29, 2022