Holiday potlucks seem overwhelming? This recipe for Precious Spice Carrots makes good use of your valuable time and delivers results worthy of a Solstice, Christmas, or New Year's feast. I cut up whole carrots, but you can cut the prep time to less than five minutes by using whole baby carrots. Unusual spices add an exotic quality for pennies. Make this healthy side dish seem extra special by using a holiday plate. I found this vintage Yule tree plate at the Penney Farms resale shop.
Precious Spice Carrots
Active time: 10 minutes. Total time: 20 minutes. Yield: 4 servings.
- 1 pound carrots (454 grams)
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon coconut spread or buttery spread
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
- Cut carrots lengthwise and then into half-moons about 1/4 inch thick. Put in a microwave-safe container with remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Cover. (Make-ahead tip: you can refrigerate the dish for a day or two at this point, then cook just before serving.)
- Microwave on high until spread melts, about 3 minutes. Toss to coat carrots evenly in flavorings, then continue cooking until tender, about 5 minutes more. Cook long enough to banish any crunch and to bring out the natural sweetness of the carrots.
- Stir and serve hot or at room temperature in as festive a plate as you can muster. Keeps for five days refrigerated or up to a year frozen. If you have just a little extra, put it in your Stoup.
Tips and Notes
- If you already have your oven going, bake carrots at about 350°F for an hour, tossing them to distribute the flavorings after about 10 minutes. This is a very forgiving recipe, so just bake a little longer at 325°F or about 40 minutes at 400°F.
- Allspice is not a spice blend, but the unripe fruit of the tree Pimenta dioica. Wikipedia says Christopher Columbus helped make it an international hit after he found it on Jamaica. It's now a major spice in Palestinian as well as Caribbean cuisine and a key flavoring in Cincinnati chili. My friends at the Savory Spice Shop grind allspice weekly.
- Cardamom comes from large bushes in the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). Wikipedia says cardamom is the world's third-most expensive spice by weight. I say it's a splurge worth making, because a little goes a long way. Learn more about cardamom from The Savory Spice Shop.