Spring celebrations call for bright, fresh produce prepared with a touch of flair. Whether it's for Easter brunch, baby showers, a sunny party on the patio, or a gathering to admire April's blossoming flowers, this is my kind of celebratory dish: tender and sweet carrots tossed in glaze of booze, brown sugar, and butter.
Look for young, small spring carrots with their tops still on—they're sweet enough that you can forgo peeling and leave the whole carrot intact for roasting. Trim the tops, leaving about an inch of greens remaining. The carrots will be lovely piled on a platter for serving guests or plated alongside slices of ham or a warm farro salad.
I used Bulleit Bourbon for this recipe, but feel free to use your favorite whiskey. I do recommend selecting a whiskey you don't mind drinking—the spirit's flavor profile is a distinct component of the finished dish.
- 1 1/2 pounds small spring carrots, tops trimmed, scrubbed but unpeeled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss carrots in olive oil, smoked paprika, and a generous sprinkle of salt and black pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until carrots are tender when pierced with a fork.
While carrots are roasting, place bourbon in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until bourbon is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add sugar, stirring to dissolve. Cook 2-3 more minutes, allowing sauce to thicken. Lower heat and stir in butter and orange juice until well combined. Season to taste with a pinch of salt. Keep sauce warm until carrots are done. Toss carrots in warm glaze and serve immediately.