Glazing vegetables is an extremely useful technique for punching up an otherwise boring vegetable side dish. I used to avoid recipes that used this technique, because I associated glazed vegetables — specifically, carrots — with a sugary, syrupy sweet dish. If I wanted to eat dessert, I’d have ice cream.
But I was wrong. The traditional method for glazing requires very little or no sugar. The technique relies on reducing a flavorful cooking liquid, such as chicken stock, to a glaze and thickening it with butter. While this technique works very nicely on carrots, many other vegetables can also benefit from it, such as brussels sprouts, pearl onions, sweet potatoes, turnips and winter squash. The other night, I made some delicious green beans also using this technique. So I encourage experimentation.
Here is how you do it:
- Prepare the vegetable by slicing or cutting into bite-sized pieces, if necessary.
- In a large skillet, add the vegetable, a pat of butter (about 1 tbsp.), salt and just enough good (preferably homemade) chicken stock to halfway cover.
- Bring the liquid to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer the vegetables until tender, adding a little more liquid if necessary.
- When the vegetables are done, raise the heat to medium-high and add 1-2 tbsp. butter. If desired, stir in 1-2 tbsp. sugar.
- Stir until the liquid reduces to a glaze coating the vegetables; there should be very little liquid left, and the glaze should be thickened and browned.
- Remove from the heat and stir in a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice to finish.