Simple roasted carrots with Balsamic vinegar.

Simple Roasted Carrots

I picked up some heirloom carrots at the market the other day. I did not realize that carrots originally were purple. How lovely is that? There are really too few purple vegetables! Finding these multicolored beauties made me want to treat them as simply and delicately as possible. No fast and furious stir-fry, no long roasting in a bath of stew. These starlets should not have to share the limelight with some B-list veggies, they are sexy enough to stand alone. Nothing more than a light coat of olive oil, a sprinkling of coarse sea salt and a dab of balsamic behind the ears and the girls were ready for center stage. For roasted veggies, or any other dish where balsamic is co-star, make sure you use a good quality aged balsamic vinegar. It’s worth it.

Simple Roasted Carrots
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Roasted carrots with Balsamic vinegar and fresh thyme
  • Carrots, washed, and sliced in half lengthwise. No need to peel.
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar, use the best quality you can afford
  • 1-2 Tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • Kosher or sea salt
  1. Pre-heat broiler to high
  2. Lay carrots on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan. Coat or brush both sides lightly with olive oil.
  3. Roast on upper middle shelf, turning half-way, until carrots are crispy-tender. About 5-7 minutes depending on the thickness of your carrots.
  4. Remove to serving plater and drizzle Balsamic and sprinkle with fresh chopped thyme and sea salt.


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Julia Child

Happy Birthday Julia!

IMG_7135Today is Julia Child’s Birthday. She was born here in my hometown of Pasadena, in 1912. If you were to ever visit me, I would take you on my “Julia tour”. Julia was my first culinary influence, aside from my mom. I remember mom ironing in front of our huge 21 inch television in the mid-sixties, while watching Julia massage a chicken, sauté mushrooms or whip up a soufflé, all while sipping wine. Her down to earth, practical approach to cooking, brought French food into our post-war homes. Years later, while in college, I fearlessly cooked my way through a thin volume of classic French dishes, no doubt with confidence bolstered from watching those early French Chef television shows. Shortly after college, I completed the 16 month master chef program at the California Culinary Academy (now the Cordon Bleu California Culinary Academy) in San Francisco. So here is a collection of Julia Child recipes, most are classic French dishes from culinary school that were just as much a part of my education as they were hers.

Souffle au Grand Marnier holds a special place in my heart, because it was the dessert I had to prepare during my finals in chef’s school.

For starters there is Pate with Apples and Brandy

or Smoked Trout Mousse.

Beouf Bourguignon is the mother of all stews.

This Chicken Chasseur or Hunter’s Chicken comes together in under 45 minutes.

Vichyssoise is chilled leek and potato soup.

Salad Nicoise is a classic composed or arranged salad.

For breakfast there is the Perfect Omelet

or  Eggs Florentine.

What’s better on a cold winter night than Soupe à l’Oignon Gratinée?

Or perhaps a warm Clafoutis

or a chilled Mousse au Chocolat for dessert?

Many years later Julia came back to Pasadena for a book signing. I stood patiently in line with not only her new book, but every cook book I had of hers, including my mom’s first edition Mastering the Art of French Cooking. While she signed, we spoke and I snapped a blurry shot of her while my eyes welled up with tears of joy.

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Chilled Cucumber Soup with fresh dill.

Cold Cucumber Soup

This Cold Cucumber Soup was one of my dad’s favorite summertime soups. He’d request it for lunch when he’d stop by my house in during the summer.

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Peach and blueberry clafoutis

Rustic Peach And Blueberry Clafoutis

Clafoutis is a rustic French dessert, the kind you would find if you unexpectedly dropped in on your friends in the Provencal countryside around dinner time. They’d ask you to stay and prepare a simple, yet delicious supper. Though no dessert had been planned, Madame

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Steak with Mushroom and Brandy Sauce.

Mushroom Sauce With Brandy

Sometimes I’ll dress up a steak or grilled chicken with a simple Mushroom Sauce with Brandy. I keep a bottle of brandy in my kitchen cupboard to jazz up dishes, even though I don’t actually drink it. 

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