As a kid, I always thought my grandmother made such weird food. She combined things that “shouldn’t” be combined, fed me things from other cultures and was always trying to introduce me to new things.
I was lucky to have her. While it might have been “weird” to me as a child, as an adult, I appreciate food so much more now. I see it as not only nourishment but art. It’s a way to express myself, it is a way to center myself and it makes me happy to make dishes that my family loves.
Today I know that her passion for making me try new things, and my other grandmother’s passion for cooking traditional dishes, helped me to find my place in the kitchen. (I say that as a feminist and in no way as a 1950’s housewife.)
I know because of that, I am honored to be participating in the Woodbridge Wines by Robert Mondavi Summer Side Dish Showdown.
It’s a six-week competition for six women home cooks and each week a new recipe will be released that you can vote on! You simply go to the site here and click the heart next to my photo. You have to verify your age because since it’s alcohol only people 21 and older can participate.
The first round of the completion was themed Backyard Barbecue Sides. I knew things like potato salad and corn would be common and, perhaps like my grandmother, I wanted to make something a bit unique but just as delicious as the traditional favorites.
I try to eat lighter in the summer time so I also wanted something that wasn’t loaded with mayo, sour cream, breading or an additional barbecue sauce since it is likely your main dish will include that.
For my first recipe, I made these Honey Bourbon Carrots, which is a variation on a recipe I’ve made before for my family in the oven. However, since this was a barbecue side dish, I thought I would grill them to show how versatile this dish can be.
If you’ve been invited to a barbecue, these carrots are something that you can easily prep ahead of time and then take with you to grill there.
They’re a great side to make when you’re having a hearty steak; filet minion; a simple, grilled chicken or a robust fish steak like halibut or swordfish.
If you aren’t a bourbon person or if you are sober, leave the bourbon out. I actually added that for this completion to make the recipe feel more grown up, but you don’t need it. That said, if you can, try it with the bourbon. Once it’s cooked the flavor works really well with the honey and makes the dish feel more mature.
The carrots pair perfectly with Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon or any of your favorite Woodbridge wines. I tend to favor red wines, even in the summer and with fish, but these will really go either way.
Grab the full recipe below and please (PLEASE!) head over to the Summer Side Dish Showdown website and vote for me. Then go make the carrots. 🙂
- 2 lbs. baby carrots with stems (or large carrots cut in half vertically down the center)
- 4 Tbsp. honey
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 ½ Tbsp. Bourbon
- 2 Tbsp. basil, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. rosemary, minced
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat grill to medium heat, giving it about 15 minutes to warm to the proper temperature.
- Combine honey, bourbon, olive oil and mix well.
- Add lemon juice and chopped basil and mix well.
- Drag each carrot through the marinade and place on a grill pan with foil below it.
- Give every carrot another coat of marinade before putting on the grill.
- Cook over the flame for 10 minutes.
- Open the grill and rotate the carrots. Coat again with marinade.
- Close the grill and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Remove the carrots from grill pan and grill directly on the grill grate for another 2-3 minutes.
- Plate carrots and very lightly drizzle some additional marinade over the carrots. If served to children, omit marinade and simply drizzle additional honey.
- Sprinkle with extra basil and rosemary and serve.
If you want to cook these in the over, cook them for 15 minutes at 425 and then check them. Cook for another 5 minutes if needed.
For more side dish recipes, click here.
Harry eating, friends!