We haven't talked sides here on the site for ages and for that I owe these supporting players a major apology, 'cause if you're like me, it's often the sides that are your favorite part of the meal, right? Come Thanksgiving, what are you most excited about--the turkey? Or is it those beloved sides like stuffing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole etc that make you swoon?!! I know that's what makes me go back for seconds and thirds! Yikes! So today, we're focusing on the sides that pull focus from the main dish, like this very yummy and kinda unusual Carrots with Pistachios and Apricots. Entrées beware!!
I don't know about you, but the mere mention of pistachios has me sitting up and taking notice and this dish is full of them! They add so much color, crunch and taste here, perfectly balancing out the sweetness of the carrots and the little slivers of tart dried apricots that dance throughout. The lemony-garlic glaze that lightly coats it all adds even more to that yin/yang, sweet/tart thing going on. Every bite totally hits the bliss point!
Plus, it's so easy to whip up--another attribute of a great side and lets you get away with a relatively mundane main dish without any complaints from your home judges!
Carrots with Pistachios and Apricots
Makes about 6 servings
Prep Time: About 20 minutes
- About 2 pounds fresh carrots, peeled and cut into small chunks
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup diced dried apricots
- Finely grated zest of one fresh lemon
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- A pinch of kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- The juice of the lemon you just zested--if it's very large you might only want to use half of it
- 1/3 cup shelled and slightly crushed pistachios
1. In a large deep skillet, place the carrots, water, apricots, lemon zest, garlic and salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover and let cook for about 8-9 minutes, until the carrots are just beginning to get tender.
2. Remove the lid and bring the mixture to a boil, until the carrots are entirely cooked through but not mushy. You'll see that the liquid starts to glaze the carrots. Stir in the butter and remove from the heat. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Then sprinkle with the lemon juice and pistachios. Serve immediately or at room temperature. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container and taste super good cold too!
Note: Recipe adapted from The Splendid Table. I tinkered with some of the proportions.