How to glaze root vegetables

How to Glaze Root Vegetables

Root vegetables are often cooked using a special technique called glazing. Glazing means to cook vegetables in a small amount of liquid, usually with a tiny bit of butter and sugar, in a partially covered pan or with a round of parchment paper or aluminum foil placed directly over them. As the vegetables cook, they release their savory juices into the surrounding braising liquid (usually water or broth). The liquid reduces and thickens as the vegetables cook, so that when tender, they're coated with a shiny, savory glaze that tastes of the vegetable.

Root vegetables like pearl onions can be "white-glazed" or "brown-glazed". (Traditionally only onions are brown-glazed, but in fact, you can brown-glaze any root vegetables.) White-glazed onions are cooked only long enough for the liquid to evaporate and lightly glaze the onions. Brown-glazed onions are cooked slightly longer, until the glaze on the bottom of the pan lightly caramelized and browns. A small amount of water or broth is then added to dissolve the caramelized juices so they will coat the onions. Cream used for this stage results in creamed onions.

Successful glazing depends on the right timing and temperature. If the heat is too high or not enough liquid is added to the vegetables at the beginning, the liquid will evaporate before the vegetables are cooked. If this happens, just add more liquid and turn down the heat. If on the other hand, too much liquid is added at the beginning or the heat is too low, the vegetables will overcook before the liquid cooks down to a glaze. If the vegetables seem to be cooked but there's a lot of liquid left in the pan, turn up the heat and remove the paper or foil round so the liquid boils away.

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