it's probably not a secret that i greatly admire chef gabrielle hamilton. after reading blood, bones, and butter last year, i walked around constantly thinking about her approach to food, her words, the point blank way of eating. this is a chef who puts butter and sugar sandwiches on her menu. a chef who gets that you don't need to dress up butter and radishes. prune is sometimes said to not have a clear vision, to be an amalgamation of simply what hamilton likes to eat. i argue that this, conversely, is prune's point of view. she's taken everything that you indulge in throughout your life, from simple pleasures to complex ones, and put them on the menu - exactly as they should be.
this recipe reminds me of my father, the tinkerer. a man who could never let a recipe simply be but always had to add fleur de sel or honey butter, sesame seed buns or truffle-infused olive oil. in this recipe, chef hamilton has taken one of the chief pleasures of my childhood, glazed carrots, and has dressed them up in preserved lemon finery, something that adds so much complexity to the dish, i'm surprised no one else is doing it.
to this, i've tinkered further. the original recipe calls for honeycomb but it's pretty impractical to find unless you know a beekeeper - even here in new york. i've substituted an orange blossom honey instead to keep that fresh, clean flavor.
preserved lemon butter
1/2 lb softened butter
2 preserved lemon rinds
2 tbsp minced shallot
1 grated garlic clove
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped basil
combine all in a food processor. puree until smooth.
3 carrots of different colors (can't get rainbow carrots? no problem! orange will be just as delicious.)
2 tbsp honey (I used orange blossom honey)
2 oz water
1/4 oz minced fennel fronds
2 oz preserved lemon butter (see above)
Sea salt, to taste
heat butter, honey and water in a medium saute pan. add carrots and toss until fully covered. reduce heat to low and cover. cook for 15-20 minutes or until liquid is nearly dry and carrots are fork tender. toss with additional butter and honey to taste to serve.