For many years (we're talking 20+ years), raw carrots were the only vegetable Mike would eat, and even then very grudgingly. Cooked? No dice. Parsnips, the carrot's sweeter, earthier, and super pasty cousin? You've got to be kidding me. Braised carrots and parsnips with rosemary? Just no.
Yet, we change. Tastes evolve, people grow up. At least our palates do. Nobody is saying Mike has grown in maturity, that's for damn sure. These days, Mike likes all manner of veggies and loves soft-on-the-edges, still-a-little-crunchy-in-the-middle cooked root vegetables. Here's how we cider-fied a classic fall side dish...
Cider-Glazed Parsnips & Carrots
1 pound parsnips, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch coins
1 pound carrots, prepared in the same way as the parsnips; if you can find them, get multicolored carrots...remember, we eat with our eyes and those colorful carrots are a real treat for the eyes
1/2 cup semi-sweet hard cider; we used Vandermill Vandy because it's apple-forward and sweet-ish
1/2 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter
Fresh rosemary, to taste
Put your parsnips, carrots, cider, stock, 1 tablespoon sugar, and a big pinch of salt in a skillet or pot. Something you have a lid for. In our case, that's a pot. Toss in a whole sprig of rosemary. You'll pull it out later. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally until veggies start to soften.
Uncover and keep it boiling until the liquid reduces considerably (to about 1/4 cup). If the parsnips and carrots start to get too soft for your tastes, pull them out while the liquid reduces.
Return parsnips/carrots (if you've removed them), add 1 tablespoon of sugar, butter, and finely chopped rosemary to taste. Continue cooking for a few minutes until the liquid starts to look like a glaze. You'll know it when you see it. Check for salt and add some pepper.