Here winter carrots, cut into thick strips, are slow-cooked in their own moisture until swollen, succulent, and flavorful. The vivid taste of the carrots, the aroma of the olives, and the pungency of the thyme make this a great accompaniment to meat or poultry.
1. Peel the carrots, cut in half crosswise, quarter the thicker ends lengthwise, and halve the thinner ends. Place in an electric slow-cooker or a heavy skillet wide enough to hold the carrots in one layer.
2. Add half the butter, cover the slow-cooker, set the heat to high, and cook, stirring once, for 2 to 3 hours, or until very tender. If substituting a skillet on top of the stove, set on a heat diffuser over very low heat. Add a few tablespoons water, cover with a round of parchment paper and a tight-fitting lid, and cook until very tender, about 1 hour.
3. Drain the carrots on paper towels and let rest. Meanwhile, pit the olives by gently tapping each one with a wooden mallet, halve, remove the pit, rinse, and drain.
4. About 10 minutes before serving, melt the remaining butter in a medium skillet over moderate heat. Add the garlic and parsley and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the carrots, thyme, olives, and salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until glazed. Pour in the cream, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes and serve.
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Paula Wolfert is the author of five cookbooks. She has won numerous awards, including the Julia Child award, the James Beard award, the M.F.K. Fisher Award for Excellence in Culinary Writing and the Tastemaker award, and has been a finalist for the Andre Simon award.