Carrots are delicious on their own, but with a little butter, honey and 45 minutes in a sous vide bath, they become exceptional! In this recipe, we add crushed hazelnuts and a yogurt spread to the presentation to give the dish contrasting textures. We like to use young carrots (the smaller ones, often with their greens still attached) as they are more flavorful than their full-size counterparts.
Cooking vegetables sous vide has a number of advantages to the traditional methods of steaming or boiling. Because the vegetables cook in a sealed bag, they retain all of their nutrients and, more importantly, all of their flavor. The natural sugars in vegetables are water-soluble, and in a boiling or steaming pot, these sugars will be whisked away into the surrounding water, leaving your vegetables dull and bland. When cooked sous vide, however, those flavors stay where they belong. And, as you’d expect, there’s no guesswork or fork-probing required to know when your vegetables are properly cooked.
Vegetables are composed of plant cells, which are extremely tough and resilient compared to the cellular structure of meat. Veggies have to be tough – they can’t jump out of the ground and run away from predators. These strong plant cell walls are also what give raw carrots their crunchy snap. To transform firm, raw carrots into a tender and yielding side dish, we have to break down those cell walls. Unlike meats, which typically cook between 50°C / 122°F and 65°C / 149°F, vegetables require much higher heat to soften. With a few specific exceptions, like corn and zucchini, most vegetables soften at temperatures between 80°C / 176°F and 88°C / 190°F.
This recipe will produce carrots that are tender enough to cut with a fork. The butter, honey, cinnamon, and the juices released by the carrots themselves combine to form a sweet, sticky glaze that make this dish a classic springtime favorite.
|Carrots, peeled||16 ct.||300g|
|Unsalted butter, cubed||¼ cup||66g|
|Greek yogurt or crème fraîche (optional)||¼ cup||44g|
|Roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped||¼ cup||24g|
|Flaky sea salt||to taste|
- Preheat your water bath to 85°C / 185°F.
- Combine the carrots, butter, honey and cinnamon in a vacuum bag* and seal.
- Cook for 45 minutes.
- To serve, spread a thin layer of greek yogurt or crème fraîche onto your serving plates. Using tongs, carefully remove the carrots from the Ziploc bag and place atop the yogurt. Drizzle the liquid contents of the bag over the carrots. Finish with a sprinkle of chopped, roasted hazelnuts and flaky sea salt.
*If you aren’t using a vacuum sealer, melt the butter before adding to the other ingredients in a zip-top bag (we recommend using a name-brand freezer-grade bag).
With the top of the bag open, use tongs to carefully submerge the bag into the bottom of the water bath, without allowing any water into the bag itself. The pressure of the water circulating around the outside of the bag will push any air out and form a seal around the vegetables. Zip the bag closed.