Brown Butter Carrot Sauce

Recently, I opened my fridge and came across a ridiculous amount of carrots (my winter CSA share provides LOTS of carrots). What am I even supposed to do with all these carrots? I mean, if they were tomatoes or something I could just make sauce…

And then it hit me. Why can’t I make sauce out of carrots? The most obvious reason being that pureed carrots have a baby food connotation for a lot of people. But by upping the flavor with herbs, vinegar, and brown butter, and straining out the solids to give us an actual sauce instead of a puree, we’re taking carrots back from those  awful little human fluid factories.

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Ingredients (Serves 6-8)

  • 4 T butter; 8 T butter
  • 1 c diced shallots
  • 1 c diced celery
  • 3 T minced garlic
  • 1/4 c red wine
  • 4 c diced carrots
  • 2 T fresh thyme
  • 2 T fresh oregano
  • 1 t crushed red chili flakes
  • 1 T lemon zest
  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • 1/4 c red wine vinegar
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 c broth
  • 1 T smoked paprika
  • 1 t ground white pepper
  • 2 t smoked salt
  • 2 c water

Directions

  • Melt 4 T butter over medium-high heat in a heavy bottomed skillet or sauce pan.
  • Add the shallots, celery, and garlic.
  • Cook until starting to brown around the edges, 5-10 minutes, then reduce heat to medium-low.
  • Cook down until starting to caramelize, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Add red wine and deglaze bottom of pan with spatula or wooden spoon.
  • Add carrots, thyme, oregano, chili flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar.
  • Mix well and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Add broth, smoked paprika, white pepper, and smoked salt.
  • Mix well, cover, and simmer on low for 2 hours, stirring regularly.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add the water and blend everything together.
  • Strain the puree into a separate bowl.
  • Discard the leftover solids.
  • Wipe out any remaining solids from original pan, and return to medium heat.
  • Once hot, add remaining butter and cook until browned.
  • Add strained sauce, mix well, and simmer an additional 5-10 minutes.
  • Serve with ricotta-stuffed ravioli; find some fresh stuff if you can. If you want to make your own, follow the basic steps here, but for filling use ricotta, lemon zest, chopped spinach, salt, and pepper. Top with a  sprinkling of herbs and some grated parmesan for good measure.

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