There is something magical about carrots and onions cooked/roasted together. It’s an extremely affable combination to my palate and I have been drooling over the thought of making Molly’s recipe for them all day long. It will go perfectly with the chicken I’m roasting for dinner. YUM.
When I was in college, I spent the better part of a year in Paris, living with a host family. My host mother was an outstanding cook, and I learned a lot from her, including this method for cooking carrots on the stovetop with olive oil, onions, and thyme.
My host mother used regular orange carrots, but I like to use purple and yellow ones, too, when I can find them. Whatever carrots you use, make sure that they taste sweet in their raw state: a dull, bitter carrot cannot be fixed. I don’t bother to peel my carrots, but I do wash them well.
Also, for this recipe, I like to slice my onions from stem end to root end, like this, so they keep their shape and integrity as they cook. When you slice onions the other way – across their equators, you could say – they tend to fall apart during cooking.
Skillet Carrots With Onions and Thyme
- Olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, halved and sliced from root to stem (see above)
- 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 lb. carrots, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
- 4 to 5 fresh thyme sprigs
- ½ tsp. red wine vinegar, or to taste
- Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add a good amount of olive oil, enough to film the bottom of the pan.
- Add the onions – they should sizzle – stir to coat with oil.
- Salt lightly.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened but not browned.
- Add the garlic, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for a few more minutes, until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the carrots, thyme, and a couple of generous pinches of salt, and stir to mix. If the carrots look dry, add a little more oil to lightly coat them; this dish needs more oil than you might think.
- Cover the pan and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender and the onions are very soft. (I never seem to pay attention to how long this takes, but I would guess that it takes somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes.)
- Remove the pan from the heat, and discard the thyme sprigs.
- Sprinkle the vinegar over the carrots.
- Stir gently to incorporate: the vinegar should subtly brighten the flavor of the carrots without being discernable itself.
- Add more vinegar, if needed, and salt to taste.
- Serve hot.