This one is easy.
Friends were coming for dinner and I was planning to serve a garden salad and scalloped potatoes and ham--yup, even in the summer, potatoes served in this old-fashioned way are just the right kind of comfort food. Even with the salad, however, I thought one more brightly colored food would be a good addition, and carrots seemed a just right addition to the plate.
However, plain old cooked carrots are not always a favorite, so I looked to my little herb garden for inspiration. Using the microwave would keep the kitchen cool, and a little olive oil without any added water would highlight the sweet flavor of the carrots.
The result was frugal--carrots are reasonable at any season of the year; fast--the simplest of preps, along with the microwave, took care of that; and fun--trying out fresh herbs from the garden is a great way to experiment with new flavor combinations.
Note that a key to the success of this recipe is to be sure to cover the carrots tightly while in the microwave. A glass casserole dish with its own cover is ideal for this.
Oh, and be sure to use plenty of olive oil--it's healthy and helps ensure the flavors of the herbs really come through.
1 pound carrots, scrubbed and sliced in thin rounds
1 T olive oil
1 to 2 t chopped fresh basil (or about 1/2 t dried)
1 t fresh thyme leaves (or about 1/2 t dried)
1/4 t dried marjoram (I didn't have any fresh; if you have some, probably a teaspoon would be enough)
sprinkle of garlic powder
salt to taste
1. Place the carrots in a microwave safe bowl and sprinkle with the herbs and salt.
2. Drizzle the olive oil over the carrots and toss lightly, just enough to evenly distribute the herbs through the carrots.
3. Cover tightly and microwave on high about 3 minutes. Stir well and return to microwave for another 3 to 4 minutes, until the carrots are just tender.
Serves 3 to 4.