Carrots, Vermouth and Vinegar

I made these carrots to go with roast loin of pork stuffed with herbs and garlic, served with polenta. I wanted something of the sweet sharpness I associate with caponata, but more low key. I love the very slight medicinal tone of red Vermouth.

Without meat, the carrots would work well with some white cheese too: lay the carrots onto a plate that has been spread with ricotta and spoon over the cooking glaze. Top with fresh green herbs and toasted pine nuts or almonds as a starter or sharing dish. Or with these same things on some toasted bread. 

Recipe (as a side for 3 people – I had 7 smallish carrots as in the picture!)

A few, whole slim carrots, scrubbed clean with a scratchy cloth a running tap if you can be bothered – or peeled if not.

75ml red vermouth (Martini Rosso)

1/2 tablespoon of red wine vinegar (adjust to taste at the end)

a sprig of thyme

2 scant teaspoons of sugar

a tablespoon of butter

How to make:

In a small pan that just fits the carrots – whole – if they are all lying down next to each other, add water until it comes halfway up the carrots. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 or so minutes, shaking the pan a couple of times.

When the water is reduced by half add the vermouth, butter, red wine vinegar, thyme and a pinch of salt. Keep simmering on a low heat until it reduces and is just covering the bottom of the pan with a few millimetres of liquid. Season with salt and pepper and taste for acidity/sweetness. Adjust with vinegar or sugar if wished. Serve carrots with a spoon of the liquid on top. 

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