A simple to make side dish that goes perfectly with your favorite Easter ham. Or just any day of the week or year.
Adding freshly chopped tarragon really makes this carrots something special.
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Do you agree with this statement - cooked carrots are one, if not the most underrated veggie to cook?
We believe this in our household.
They are just so good. I would take them over raw carrots dipped in ranch dressing any day.
Here is a simple way to prepare them, that will go with any meal, but I especially like to serve alongside a juicy ham on Easter Sunday.
Before we get to the recipe, I want to show a reason why you should consider cooking your carrots more often than eating them raw.
? Cooking vs. Raw
There is a crowd that believes that raw is always better. We should always eat our veggies raw - so don't you dare think about cooking those carrots people say.
However they may not be the case. I originally learned from Alton Brown that isn't always the case. After doing my own research I found this article in Scientific American calls this into question.
Another study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2002 showed that cooking carrots increases their level of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene belongs to a group of antioxidant substances called carotenoids, which give fruits and vegetables their red, yellow, and orange colorings. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which plays an important role in vision, reproduction, bone growth and regulating the immune system.https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/raw-veggies-are-healthier/
? Better Taste
I solidly believe that carrots taste better when they have been cooked. I don't really enjoy them much in their raw state.
There are people who eat raw carrots with a tub of high fat, high sodium ranch dressing to choke them down. Those individual packages of "baby carrots" with ranch are popular at the grocery store.
Pretty simple ingredient list here:
- Whole carrots (not baby) in any color you fancy
- Fresh Tarragon
I am not saying you can't use the baby or already peeled carrots, but I find that those carrots are far less flavorful than whole carrots.
The tarragon brings a nice sweet herb flavor to the carrots. It's the first herb every year that starts to grow in my garden, making it a stable of the Easter meal many of years.
The honey adds just a touch of sweetness and flavor. The carrots don't need to the sweentess, so it's really just about adding flavor. That is why you want to use a good quality honey.
RELATED - Read about the different varieties of honey available.
Please note I am not putting the exact amount of ingredients you need for this recipe as it's really a matter of taste and how many you wish to cook
? Serving size suggestion - 1 pound of carrots per 3-4 people.
If you really don't like tarragon, which has a licorice like quality to it, then here are some other herbs that go well with carrots.
- Italian or Flat Leaf Parsley
- Curly Parsley
⏱️ How Long to Boil
For boiling carrots it should take around 10 minutes or so. The time depends on how thick or thin your carrots are. I would plan for up to 15 minutes if you want them done right at a certain time. If cooking them to serve with a ham or a big roast, I would make them once the meat is done and resting out of the oven.
I would keep my eye on them and check them regularly, so you don't end up with mushy carrots. They should be softened but you still need to bite into them.
? Ham Recipes
As I mentioned above, I love serving up these carrots with a ham. Here are some of our ham recipes.
Would you rather roast your carrots? Check out this recipe for Butter Roasted Carrots.
Honey Tarragon Carrots
- 1 lb carrots peeled & cut on the bias
- 1 tbsp fresh tarragon you can also used dried
- honey to taste
- kosher salt to taste
- Fill a large pot ¾ full of water. Add a dash salt. Bring the pot to a boil. Then add your carrots.
- Cook them until they are al dente or easy to chew but not mush. This should take around 10 minutes.
- Then drain them in a colander and pat them dry. You want to make sure you have as much moisture off on the surface on the carrot as possible so that the honey and tarragon will stick better.
- Add honey and dried tarragon. Mix well to evenly coat and serve immediately.