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Make a colorful holiday recipe for the whole family

Add this quick and easy side dish as part of your holiday cooking fun.

As the holidays approach, feeding hungry family and friends can be a highlight of time together. Being able to connect and laugh with others across the dinner table is a true blessing. During the colder months it feels especially cozy to turn to root vegetables as a source of inspiration. The following recipe is a healthy plant-based approach that combines some sweet and some savory. This cooked carrot preparation accentuates the carrot’s natural sweetness, while the salsa adds a little balancing crunch and zing. It is sure to appeal to just about everyone around the table. 

Glazed carrots with herbed hazelnut salsa

Developed by Kaiser Permanente’s Benjamin Maring, MD.

Servings: 4 as a side dish

Prep time: 25 minutes



2-3 bunches small or young carrots, rainbow or orange, tops trimmed, cleaned, and reserved

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Small pinch of salt


1/4 cup loosely packed carrot tops, finely chopped

1/4 cup loosely packed mint, finely chopped

1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro, finely chopped

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon lime zest

1/3 cup hazelnuts, skinned, roasted, and chopped

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Scrub, rinse, dry, and peel carrots and arrange in single layer in a large skillet. If some of the carrots are larger, cut them in half lengthwise.
  2. Add cold water to the skillet to barely cover the carrots and place over high heat. Add the honey, orange juice, olive oil, and a small pinch of salt to the skillet. Bring to boil and reduce the heat slightly to a vigorous simmer.
  3. Cook carrots until the water is almost completely evaporated and a glaze has formed in the pan. This may take 15 to 25 minutes depending on the size of your carrots. The carrots should be knife tender. If the carrots are cooking faster than the water evaporation, you can pour some of the liquid out. If the carrots are cooking slower than the water evaporation, you can add a little water back into the skillet.
  4. Meanwhile, as the carrots are cooking, prepare the salsa by finely chopping the carrot tops, mint, and cilantro and combining with the citrus zests, hazelnuts, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  5. When the glazed carrots are done, arrange on a platter and top with the salsa. Be sure to spoon any leftover glaze over the carrots as well.


If you end up using rainbow carrots like I did, and use a few purple carrots, you may find your “rainbow” to be more like an ombre of red.

Any soft herb will do great here! If you don’t like cilantro or cannot find carrots with their tops intact, try other combinations of herbs like parsley, tarragon, shiso, perilla leaves, or chervil.

Any nut will do great also. If you can’t find hazelnuts, try another nut like almonds, walnuts, or pecans.

Nutritional information (per serving)

Calories: 265
Total fat: 15 grams
Saturated fat: 2 grams
Sodium: 600 milligrams
Total carbohydrates: 32 grams
Dietary fiber: 8 grams
Total sugars: 18 grams
Protein: 4 grams
Potassium: 842 milligrams



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