My dad and I attended a cooking class (my first!) on Mediterranean cuisine with the Culinary Institute of Virginia.  SOOOO fun!  And we had some AWESOME dishes!  I just had to share.  

I’m not a fan of cooked carrots.  I guess it goes back to my elementary school “hot lunch” days when those little orange disks were mushy with a very distinctive taste.  So I admit I was skeptical of this recipe but, as game as ever, I threw myself into it.  And WOW!  What a carrot dish!  A terrific side dish; in fact, we are so adding this to our Christmas menu this year.  The key to it is allowing the onions (or in our case, leeks) to caramelize a bit.  They look a little burned but they’re almost sweet, and the brown sugar only helps that.  🙂  Enjoy!

Other recipes from the class:  

Persian Green Beans and Rice

Potato Gnocchi

Serves 4


  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 cup onion (or leeks – cut off the bottom root and the tough green stalks and slice the remaining white stalk in thin slices – wash well!)

  • 1-2 carrots (sliced diagonally so each thin slice is longer but no wider than a traditional slice)

  • 3/4 cup water (or wine)

  • 2 Tbsp. parsley (I prefer the Italian, or flat, parsley – not so bitter)

  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar

  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar

  • Kosher salt to taste

  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil over medium heat and sauté onions (or leeks) until transparent, about 5 minutes.

  2. Add carrots and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

  3. Add water, half the parsley, and white and brown sugar.

  4. Season to taste, cover pan tightly, and simmer on low heat until carrots are tender, 15 minutes.

  5. Remove from heat, add lemon juice, and correct seasoning if need be (a sprinkle of nutmeg, a smaller sprinkle of cloves, and a dash of ginger can be a great addition).

  6. Serve sprinkled with remaining parsley.