Post sponsored by Stash Tea. See below for more details.
There are endless amount of beautiful whole carrot dishes floating around the internet with good reason. Carrots, properly cooked, develop a little more of their sweetness and have a perfect soft texture (without being mushy). These braised carrots are cooked in a smoky lapsang souchong tea. This tea adds a hint of tea flavor but mostly adds a deep, smoky flavor. Beyond serving as a stellar side dish, you could easily pair these braised carrots with rice and a poached egg for a complete meal.
Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu
The vegetarian menu shows my weakness: cream. The pasta dish is the star of the show but these carrots and the Brussels sprout salad balance out the richness. This meal is full of vegetables but still satisfying for everyone. The salad and the pasta can be prepped ahead of time leaving only a bit of stovetop cooking with these carrots. The full meal includes:
Wine Pairing: 2013 Boeger Tempranillo: An earhthy dryness in the wine is brought out by the smoky tea and enhances the sweetness of the braised carrots. The wine and the carrots just keep getting better together!
Tea Braised Carrots
An beautiful side dish that could easily be turned into a hearty vegetarian lunch, these braised carrots are cook with smoky tea for extra flavor.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 pound petite carrots tops trimmed
- 1/4 cup loosely packed Stash Lapsang souchong tea
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup to 1 water
- Sliced almonds for topping
- Parsley for topping
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet with a lid over medium high heat. Place whole carrots into skillet and sear for 2 to 3 minutes, turning once or twice. Sprinkle in the loose leaf tea and salt. Add the water, just enough that it covers about 1/4 inch of the bottom of the pan. Bring to boil then reduce to simmer. Cover and let simmer 6 to 8 minutes, until carrots are just tender.
- Transfers carrots to a serving platter, leaving the tea behind in the pan, and sprinkle with minced parsley and sliced almonds before serving.
The ingredients are simple enough but a few different ways you could try this recipe:
Root vegetable: Try this recipe with parsnips instead of carrots. Or you could thinly slice sweet potatoes and braise 10 to 20 minute until tender.
Tea: Can’t find lapsang souchong? Your favorite black tea would be great. Look for a loose leaf as that will impart the most flavor.
Fennel: You could also braise fennel with tea! Cut the fennel bulbs into quarters and prepare as above.
While I tend to be a coffee drinker, tea makes for an extremely fun ingredient to play around with in the kitchen. The different flavor profiles in the teas can lend themselves well to savory dishes, like in these braised carrots. I recommend picking up tea and trying a couple savory recipes and if you need even more inspiration, there’s an entire cookbook devoted to tea recipes.