I've been making this side dish so long I don't remember where it came from (some Italian cookbook, probably), only that I added the Balsamic vinegar for a little agrodolce and spunk. It transcends Italian dishes, however, being a great "go-with" for just about anything -- last served with Roast Chicken. —ChefJune
4 side dish servings
young, choice carrots
extra virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar (not the aged kind)
chopped parsley plus more for garnish
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
capers (I kinda like the big, Italian ones in this dish)
Peel the carrots and rinse them in cold water. Drain well.
Blanch the carrots in boiling water for about six minutes. Drain thoroughly in a colander. [At this point, the carrots can be cooled in ice water to stop the cooking, if you are not serving them immediately.]
Choose a sauté pan large enough to hold all the carrots comfortably. Put in olive oil and garlic and turn on the heat to medium high. When the garlic becomes a rich gold, add 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and then add the carrots and parsley. Stir the carrots for a few minutes, until they are well coated with the mixture.
If the carrots are not completely cooked when the liquid has completely evaporated add 1/4 cup water. Continue adding water at this rate whenever it evaporates, until the carrots are done (about 10 minutes.) Carrots should be tender but firm. Prick with a fork to see how they're doing, taste at the end to be sure. If there is any water left in the pan, let it evaporate quickly. Allow all the carrots to brown slightly.
Add salt and a little pepper. Turn the carrots once or twice, then add the capers. Cook another minute or two, stirring frequently. Garnish with more chopped parsley and serve at once.
Teacher’s Tip: Don’t use “baby” carrots sold in bags. They are watery and will spoil this dish. If you can’t find young carrots, use standard carrots and cut them lengthwise in half or in quarters, and then into 2-inch lengths.