The sweet freshness of the season's first green-topped carrots is played against the tang of dried apricots, mellow garlic, and the salty, fragrant quality of crushed pistachios. Inspired by an old Persian dish.
2 bunches green-topped carrots, peeled and cut into small chunks (about1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup diced dried apricots
Shredded zest of l lemon
6 large garlic cloves, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup shelled and crushed salted pistachios
1. In a 12-inch skillet, combine everything but the butter, lemon juice and pistachios. Bring to a simmer, cover, and gently cook about 8 minutes, or until carrots are barely tender.
2. Uncover and boil until they are cooked through and the liquid becomes a glaze coating the carrots. (You could stop here, cover the carrots, and hold them at room temperature an hour or so, or refrigerate overnight, then reheat).
3. Taste for seasoning, then stir in the butter. Turn into a serving bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice and pistachios.
Variation: Create a creamy, low-fat soup by bringing 8 cups of vegetable or poultry broth to a boil with the already glazed carrots (add the butter, but hold back the pistachios and lemon). Puree. Season to taste. Top with a dollop of yogurt, then sprinkle each serving with pistachios and a little lemon.
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