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These fantastic Italian Carrots are rich and creamy with a punch of flavor from fresh dill and capers.
Today’s Italian Carrots recipe is another winner from the classic Silver Palate cookbook series. Tender carrots are coated with a creamy, flavorful sauce made from crème fraiche, butter, fresh dill, and capers.
The sweetness of the carrots and the richness from the crème fraiche is perfectly balanced by the tart, briny capers. And – fresh dill and carrots are always a perfect flavor pairing!
All combined together, these Italian Carrots are really something special and deserve a place at the table for any holiday meal or dinner.
I should also note ahead of time that the method of cooking the carrots in this dish is also a little unconventional* – and unlike any method we’ve seen before. Whole, unpeeled carrots are first soaked in ice water, then boiled whole and unpeeled until just tender. At that point, the carrots are removed from the cooking liquid and cooled – then a slight rub of your fingers against the carrots easily peels off the skin! Finally, the carrots are sliced and finished off in the sauce.
*In The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook , the authors state that this cooking method is traditionally Italian. And – while I’m not a nutritional expert by any stretch of the imagination – I’ve read that cooking carrots whole rather than sliced retains more of the nutrients and flavor, so that’s an additional benefit if true.
Regardless of the rationale behind this cooking method – these Italian Carrots are fantastic! This recipe is definitely one of our new favorite ways to prepare cooked carrots – and I think you’ll love it too!
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The cooking time to boil the carrots will vary based on the size of your carrots. Err on the side of slightly under-cooked so check at the ten-minute mark to be safe.
2 pounds fresh whole carrots (buy large, thick carrots if possible)
2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup Crème Fraiche** (see our homemade recipe here)
3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Lay the unpeeled carrots in a flat pan or dish such as a standard 9×13-inch casserole dish and cover with ice water. Soak for 30 minutes.
Place a medium pot of water on to boil and once boiling, add the 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.
Drain the carrots and place into the boiling water and boil 10-15 minutes. They should be partially cooked and a little crisp. Ours took just ten minutes.
Remove with tongs or a large spider strainer to the pan they soaked in and cool until they can be handled. Once cool enough, just rub your fingers down each one and the skin peels right off.
Trim off and discard the ends and then cut each carrot into ¼ inch slices cut on the bias.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and add carrots and sauté for five minutes.
With the heat still on medium, add the Crème Fraiche one tablespoon at a time and stir before each addition. As the carrots cook, they will absorb each addition of the Crème Fraiche and form a creamy sauce.
Remove from heat and stir in the dill, capers, salt and pepper and serve.
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**If Crème Fraiche is not available, sour cream could be used but the sauce will have a slightly tart taste. Crème Fraiche is highly recommended for this recipe. You can make your own by following this recipe.
You may also like these other carrot recipes:
- Tuscan-Style Roasted Carrots
- Cider Glazed Carrots
- Carrots with Herbes de Provence
- Braised Mustard Carrots
- Fresh Carrots with Butter and Dill
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