Caramelized Delicata Squash

Glazed in brown sugar and white wine vinegar, this squash from The Glorious Vegetables of Italy is a wonderful balance of sweet and savory.

Ingredients:
1 pound Delicata squash, trimmed, peeled, seeded and cut into half moon slices
½ cup olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced (optional)

Method:
1. Heat oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until the garlic is softened and fragrant, but not browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Press down on cloves to release their flavor, then remove from skillet and set aside.

2. Arrange a layer of squash slices in the skillet and fry, turning once or twice, until lightly browned on both sides and just tender. Transfer to a platter and continue to fry squash in batches.

3. In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar in the vinegar. Carefully return all of the squash slices to the skillet. Sprinkle sugar-vinegar mixture over the squash and season with salt and pepper. Cook, gently moving pieces of squash around, for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until sauce is reduced to a thick syrup. Sprinkle mint over top if using.

4. Return squash to platter, cover loosely and let sit for about 30 minutes to allow flavors to mingle. Serve at room temperature.

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Butter-Braised Carrots with Thyme

Braised in sweet butter and tossed with garlic and thyme, these carrots are truly sublime.

Ingredients:
1½ pounds carrots, peeled and cut into thick matchsticks
2 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (if desired)
2 thyme sprigs
1¾ cups chicken stock
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large ovenproof skillet (one that has an accompanying lid, which will be used later), melt the butter over moderately low heat. Add the carrots, garlic and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing frequently, until the carrots are tender but not browned, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil and remove from the heat.

2. Cover the skillet with the lid. Braise the carrots in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until they are very tender. Discard the thyme sprigs and serve.

Curry-Spiced Roasted Beets

This heavenly side dish is fragrant with warm spices; a must-try side dish!

Ingredients:
1 bunch Chioggia beets
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°.

2. In a small bowl, combine the cumin, coriander, turmeric and cloves. Add 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and mix well.

3. If the greens are still attached to the beets, remove them, leaving about 1-inch of the stem intact. Place the beets in a small roasting pan and rub them with the oil and then the spice mixture, coating them evenly. Roast the beets, turning them once or twice, until tender until pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Let cool until they can be handled, then cut off the stems and peel the beets.

4. Cut the beets lengthwise into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

Honey-Balsamic Roasted Carrots

This slam-dunk recipe from Domenica Marchetti’s The Glorious Vegetables of Italy beautiful combines both savory and sweet flavors.

Ingredients:
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Put carrots in a large roasting pan.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, honey and 2 teaspoons vinegar. Pour over carrots. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and a generous grinding of pepper. Toss gently to combine.

3. Roast carrots for 10 minutes; toss, roast for 15 minutes more, or until carrots are tender and browned in spots.

4. Transfer to serving platter and sprinkle with a few additional drops of vinegar and a dash of sea salt.

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