Glazed Carrots and Fennel

Glazed carrots paired with fennel are a beautiful accompaniment to grilled or sautéed fish.

Successful glazing resides in taking time. The process simply cannot be rushed.

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Glazed carrots and fennel with garlic and thyme.

Preparation is fairly simple. Clean and cut the fresh ingredients, assemble, and simmer. The simmering process is slow, but also low maintenance. Just check periodically that the vegetables are cooking evenly and that the liquid is not evaporating too quickly.

Plan to start preparation for this dish about two hours ahead. Simmering can easily take an hour to an hour and a half.

The nature of glazed vegetables is to be very sweet, typically because of added sugar. As we attempt to keep a healthy approach to our cooking, I have increasingly been using agave syrup instead of sugar. Agave syrup is a natural sweetener that can be used by health conscious cooks to replace the high-glycemic and refined sugars we want to avoid.

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Ingredients:

8 medium to large carrots

1 fennel bulb

6 garlic cloves

1 cup water

3/4 cup agave syrup

3 tablespoons olive oil

a few springs of thyme

The glazing process considerably shrinks the vegetables. Use a large pan, deep enough to accommodate all the raw vegetables. I like using a heavy cast iron pan for slow cooking, where the heat is evenly distributed and held throughout the cooking time.

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Garlic and thyme. A classic combination to deliver the fragrances of Provence. We did not grow thyme, as it grew wild, we used to pick it fresh from the grounds on our Sunday afternoon walks through the rocky and hilly countryside.

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Peel and cut the carrots into even sizes.

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Clean the fennel bulb. Cut in half and slice evenly.

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Moderately heat the olive oil in a heavy cast iron pan, with deep sides, and place the carrots and fennel in the pan.

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Peel the cloves of garlic, slice in half lengthwise, remove the inner green part.

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To remove the small thyme leaves, hold a spring by one end. With your other hand, slide the tips of your fingers along the stem to catch and detach the delicate leaves without crushing them.

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You’ll quickly accumulate the leaves, leaving the stems bare.

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Add the thyme leaves and halved garlic cloves to the vegetables.

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Add the agave and water, bring to a boil, and simmer… for about one to one and a half hour.

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By the time the liquids have been absorbed, the vegetables will have acquired a beautiful shine, with a tender texture, and a sweet taste. Enjoy!

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