Make Ahead

Glazed Carrots with Braised Bibb Lettuce

February 28, 2011
4 Ratings
  • Serves 4
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. - thirschfeld —thirschfeld

Test Kitchen Notes

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&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 or more 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.
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48 Reviews

Jenny December 3, 2018
this technique is amazing!! it can be adapted to other root veggies easily!! Cant wait to try other combinations.
thirschfeld December 3, 2018
Peas with celery root and lettuce is a favorite here
Kaite March 10, 2017
Super easy to make. Used what I had on hand: baby carrots and rosemary. I am looking forward to making this again but with the addition of the lettuce.
Leah October 11, 2014
This turned out great! I subbed out the white wine vinegar for apple cider vinegar, and it was still fantastic. Thanks!
Ashley M. December 31, 2013
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!
mlsparks April 10, 2013
Wow made these delicious!!! :) Thanks for the great recipe
Gillian November 9, 2012
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!
Ghazzzit December 19, 2011
This was the perfect solution for my excess quantity of carrots. Simple and incredibly delicious - thank you!
KristaFriday September 28, 2011
I'm feeling under the weather with an early fall cold, and this looks like just the ticket for a light little dinner. Thanks!
ellenl April 16, 2011
I don't know how I missed this recipe. Fabulous!
Oui, C. March 16, 2011
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
TasteFood March 14, 2011
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.
thirschfeld March 14, 2011
fresh chervil is perfect
wanderash March 11, 2011
Nice recipe. I can't wait to try it! Congrats!
thirschfeld March 10, 2011
Thanks everyone for all your kind words I really appreciate it greatly
fiveandspice March 10, 2011
Congrats on another wonderful looking dish thirschfeld!
cheese1227 March 10, 2011
This is really lovely!!
gingerroot March 10, 2011
Congrats, thirschfeld! What a lovely, elegant dish.
Sagegreen March 10, 2011
Congrats, Tom. All your recipes are winners!
Reeve March 10, 2011
Sounds like a great recipe, I'll definitely have to give it a try!
Greenstuff March 10, 2011
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.
onetribegourmet March 10, 2011
Congrats! Just voted for you! Good Luck! :)