Have you ever looked in the crisper before dinner and thought, “Great, we’re out of vegetables for dinner,” even though there were carrots in there? I don’t know why I don’t serve cooked carrots very often, but I don’t. I’ll often cut them up and serve them raw when I’m serving burgers or pulled pork sandwiches, but I rarely think to make them as a hot vegetable side.

Saturday night was one of those nights when the only option was carrots, and I decided to cook them up and serve them glazed. Following some basic instructions from a 1981 copy of “The New James Beard” that I picked up at a library book sale recently but haven’t really delved into yet, I made boiled carrots and then glazed them.

Three of the four of us loved these carrots. My 9-year-old didn’t want to touch them. He asked if he could peel himself a whole carrot and eat it raw instead of eating “mushy carrots.” I almost told him no, but then I realized that the raw carrot without butter or sweetener was actually healthier, and told him he could. He came back to the table with a whole carrot in his mouth and asked, “What’s up, Doc?”

Beard suggests glazing the carrots with honey or maple syrup, but I chose to glaze them with agave. It was a good choice.


  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into julienne strips or sliced into rounds (or you could use a pound of baby carrots)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Enough water to cover carrots in the pan
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons agave syrup
  • Chopped fresh parsley (optional)


  1. Boil enough salted water in a pan to cover the carrots once they’re placed in.
  2. Place carrots in boiling water and cook until fork tender. The time will vary depending on how thick your carrot pieces are.
  3. Drain the water and return the pan to the stove, over low heat. Add the butter let and let the heat melt the butter. Toss carrots until coated with melted butter.
  4. Add the agave syrup and stir the carrots in the butter and syrup until the two form a glaze.
  5. Taste and add salt and pepper as wanted.
  6. Transfer to serving platter and sprinkle with chopped parsley (optional)

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Seasonal recipe: Agave Glazed Carrots
A little agave nectar goes a long way in adding a sweet glaze to cooked carrots.