I’d rather be in Sicily, but for now I’m having to settle for eating Sicilian Carrots—and as Martha Stewart would say, “That’s a good thing.”
There are two Sicilian carrot recipes here: one is warm and laced with a bit of Marsala wine for sweetness. It has just a hand full of ingredients and yet it zings with goodness. The other is a highly-prized salad from a Sicilian deli in New York City. The deli salad comes with the admonition to use the best olive oil you can afford, since it make a tremendous difference in the flavor of the dish.
Carrots in Marsala
- 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, or less
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into slices 1/4 inch thick
- Salt, to taste
- 1/4 cup dry Marsala wine
In a large fry pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the shallot and sauté until barely tender, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots and salt, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes. Add a little water if they begin to scorch.
Pour in the Marsala and cook, uncovered, until it evaporates, about 3 minutes. Transfer the carrots to a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately. Serves 6. Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring Series, Italy.
- 2 lbs. peeled carrots, thinly sliced
- 4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 Tbs. dried cranberries
- 3 Tbs. pine nuts
- 9 medium basil leaves, cut in julienne strips
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray two large roasting pans with nonstick olive oil spray and arrange carrots in a single layer on pans, mixing with 2 Tbs. of oil. Bake carrots for 30-40 minutes, turning occasionally. When they become soft and start to brown, remove and let cool.
In a bowl, mix carrots with cranberries, pine nuts, basil and remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil and refrigerate overnight. To serve, let return to room temperature.
Kitchen Note: The easy way to julienne basil is to stack several leaves one atop the other, roll up like a cigarette, ad slice crosswise into strips.