Thyme has been my favorite herb this past year. It all started last summer in San Francisco when my roommate would spend lazy mornings infusing our kitchen with thyme and Spanish music. To me, using thyme in cooking has always involved the mechanical notion of carefully removing each tiny leaf from the twig. Chelsea could grab the whole twig and just throw it into sautéed mushrooms. Wait, don’t you need to de-stem them? “Oh, it’s cause I’m lazy,” she apologized. But her sauteed mushrooms tasted as good as mine and took half the effort. Chelsea mixed and tossed ingredients with ease and shrugged off ingeniousness as laziness. That’s how I want to be when I grow up.
Now I’m in Texas and more carrots grow than mushrooms. But thyme is eternal.
I got beautiful purple carrots from the farmer’s market and tossed them with leftover parsnips and carrots from home. Purple carrots have vitamin A and all the cool properties of regular carrots but have the added benefit of purple pigment antioxidants. You can use them the same in cooking as you would orange carrots, but they do release a lot of color – they turned my parsnips yellow-purple which stomped my plans for a tri-color sautée photo.
- 1 pound carrots, multi-colored if possible, peeled and cut into sticks
- 1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into sticks
- 1 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
- 1/4 cup orange or mandarin juice
- 6 twigs fresh thyme, to taste
- salt and ground pepper to taste
- In a large sautée pan melt butter over medium heat.
- Add carrots and parsnips and sautée for 10-14 minutes until they are tender and the edges are a bit browned.
- Add the juice and sweetener and keep over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Add thyme, mix a couple of times and turn off heat.
- Serve with just a pinch of salt.
I served these for breakfast next to scrambled eggs and bacon from the farmer’s market.
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