“Make sure you get the handwritten ones – they’re the best,” said my Uncle Ken while I was looking through the hundreds of recipes my Grandmother created and saved over decades.
Her recipe for Cardamom Glazed Carrots caught my eye for a couple of reasons. First, it was handwritten. And second, cardamom is not a spice I’d normally associate with her. From my experience, it’s usually used for southeast Asian dishes and for Nordic country baked goods as a warming spice. Maybe she was expanding her repertoire? Or, perhaps unbeknownst to me she was pen pals with my other Grandmother, the Finnish one who was an avid baker. (Doubtful, but you never know!)
Her original cardamom carrot recipe was overly sweet and had some extra process steps that I didn’t think were necessary. My version has tamed the sweetness and simplified the process leaving a somewhat exotic, unexpected citrus spiced glaze. From my family to yours, I hope you enjoy these. Cheers to Grandma (the Polish one, not the Finnish one, and definitely not one that belongs to someone else in southeast Asia)!
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Cardamom Glazed Carrots
- 1 1/2 pounds (roughly .7 kg) carrots, any color
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Zest and juice of 2 lemons (approximately 1/3 cup juice)
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 teaspoon Kosher (not table) salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)
- Wash and peel carrots
- Cut carrots into approximately 4 inch (10 cm) long segments. Cut the slim ends in half lengthways, and the thicker ends into quarters so that the result is all equal lengths and thickness
- Place the carrots into a sauté pan wide enough so they are in a single layer. Cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and boil for 4 minutes. Drain the water and return the carrots to the sauté pan
- Add the lemon zest and juice, orange juice, honey, butter, and salt and pepper to the carrots. Simmer for 5 minutes
- Whisk the cornstarch and cardamom into the vermouth or wine (water works, too, but will not have the same flavor) and add to the carrots
- Increase the heat and boil for 3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and reduced and the carrots are fork tender
- Transfer the carrots to a serving bowl or platter and sprinkle with roughly chopped parsley (if using)