Braised Carrots with Orange and Capers

This tangy dish makes a great side for roast meats. You can also brown some chopped bacon or pancetta in the pan before you add the carrots in step 1 (no need for the olive oil in that case) to turn it into a lively main-dish stew. The Viognier will still be a great match. Prep and Cook Time: 1 1/2 hours.

Yield: Makes 4 side-dish servings
Recipe from Sunset

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 165
  • Calories from fat: 41%
  • Protein: 3.2g
  • Fat: 7.4g
  • Saturated fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrate: 25g
  • Fiber: 6.1g
  • Sodium: 431mg
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled, ends trimmed, and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • Sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/2 orange (including peel), rinsed, ends trimmed, and chopped (discard seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

Preparation

  1. 1. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add carrots, sprinkle lightly with salt, and turn to brown on all sides, about 4 minutes total. Remove from pan.
  2. 2. Add onion, celery, and garlic to pan; stir often until vegetables are soft but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, orange, thyme, and the carrots to pan. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are very tender when pierced, about 1 hour.
  3. 3. Meanwhile, pour remaining tablespoon olive oil into a small frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add capers and cook until they begin to peel back, about 1 1/2 minutes.
  4. 4. Spoon braised carrots into a serving bowl or onto plates and top with capers and parsley.
  5. Wine pairing: Aromatic but crisp Viognier, with honeyed citrus and a few minerals. Best in our pairing: Miner Family Simpson Vineyard 2004 (California; $20), Eberle Mill Road 2004 (Paso Robles, CA; $18), and R.H. Phillips EXP 2003 (Dunnigan Hills, CA; $14).
  6. Flavor bridges: The classic honey-tangerine notes in a totally dry Viognier seem sweet and throw a line to the sweetness in carrots. The orange in this dish clinches the deal. Aromatic, floral qualities in the wine give it weight; long braising does the same for the carrots. Minerals under the wine's fruitiness link to the briny capers.
  7. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
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