A Squared: Honey Balsamic Grilled Carrots & Onions

Monday, July 27, 2015

Honey Balsamic Grilled Carrots & Onions

Until recently, carrots didn't feel like a 'summertime' vegetable to me. I love them in soups on chilly fall days or slow cooked with a pot roast in the winter, but cooking carrots in the summer seemed wrong-- which is actually really silly. Today's recipe post is the perfect way to incorporate carrots into your summer menu!


It all began when the folks at Farmbox Direct asked me to give their service a try. Not familiar with Farmbox Direct? This food-focused startup began when one mom decided that it should be more convenient for everyone to have access to locally grown organic and seasonal produce. So she created a service where subscribers receive a regular shipment of in season produce sourced from local vendors right at their doorsteps! The schedule and the amount of produce is all customizable, so you can be sure that the service fits right into your eating and cooking routine.


When my Farmbox arrived and I started going through all of the produce I received, my recipe gears started turning. I love grilling in the summertime, but had never thought of grilling carrots until I pulled a lovely bunch out of the box and thought "Why not?" So I cut them into extra thick slices and added some red onion rings to the mix, marinating them in a sweet and tangy combination of balsamic vinegar, honey, fresh herbs, and a touch of pomegranate juice. Marinating the carrots overnight infused some great flavor before grilling them, which added a nice charred smokey quality to the tender carrots.


I finished these carrots and onions off with a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves (which are also in the marinade) and with a drizzle of the reduced marinade. The great thing about a vegetable marinade (as opposed to one used for raw meat) is that it can be re-purposed later in a recipe. Slowly cooking the remaining marinade down turns it into a delicious honey balsamic syrup perfect for topping these veggies off.


This is a delicious and summery way to prepare carrots. And it's the perfect summer side dish to any grilled protein.
 

Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 6 large carrots, peeled
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 1 Tbs. pomegranate juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 Tbs. fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 

Place the sliced onions in a large zip locking bag. After peeling your carrots, cut them in half widthwise (so you have two long pieces). Place the narrow carrot halves (at the point, not near the stems) in the bag and then cut the thicker halves lengthwise down the center and add to the bag.

In a medium bowl, whisk vinegar, oil, honey, pomegranate juice, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper vigorously until fully combined. Pour into the zip locking bag and secure it shut, making sure to push out as much excess air as possible. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat the grill to medium  heat. Place the onions and carrots on the grill, reserving excess marinade. Cover and grill for 5-6 minutes (or until they begin to soften and grill marks begin to appear). Use tongs to turn the vegetables over and grill the onions for another 3-4 minutes and remove from heat. Continue grilling carrots for another 3-4 minutes, or until desired degree of softness is achieved. Remove from heat.

If desired, while grilling the vegetables pour the excess marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low. Simmer the mixture, stirring frequently until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon (20-30 minutes). Drizzle over onions and carrots.


Editor's Note: I received a complimentary Farmbox Direct sample in order to facilitate this post. The opinions expressed herein are my own.

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