Carrots and Mushroom Sauté

There is something wonderfully synergistic that occurs between the sweetness of carrots and the earthiness of mushrooms when they are browned slowly together in butter. I particularly love how this recipe came about. An old friend, Susan Doris, invented it when she was the mother of two active young boys.

Susan had a theory, dear to my heart, that the best way to keep one’s husband interested in coming home on time every night is to cook something wonderful for dinner. In fact, she swore by it. So even though her boys kept her frantically busy, and funds were tight, she always managed to produce tempting dishes.

One night, while her mushrooms were sautéing and her carrots had just finished boiling, Susan found she needed a saucepan to warm a bottle of milk for the baby. Lacking another pan, she drained the carrots and dumped them into the mushrooms. She heated the bottle and then went to feed the baby, forgetting to turn off the heat under the frying pan. After about thirty minutes, when she went back to the stove, she found that the carrots and mushrooms had turned golden brown and were absolutely delicious. A new dish was born.

Carrots are a traditional part of the seder menu because they represent the idea of “merin,” to increase.

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volume ounces/pounds grams
6 medium carrots, scraped and cut into ⅛-inch rounds 3 cups 1 pound 454 grams
unsalted butter 2 tablespoons 1 ounce 28 grams
1 medium clove garlic, smashed and peeled 5 grams
fresh mushrooms, sliced 2 cups 6.5 ounces 184 grams
salt ½ teaspoon
pepper, freshly ground ¼ teaspoon
dried thyme ½ teaspoon
sugar a pinch


In a medium saucepan, place the carrots and add boiling water to cover them by about 1 inch. Boil the carrots, partially covered, until tender-crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and set aside, covered.

Meanwhile, in a large heavy skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and mushrooms. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes or until the mushrooms give up their liquid. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the drained cooked carrots, salt, pepper, thyme and sugar and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring three or four times. Increase the heat to medium high and cook, stirring often, until the carrots and mushrooms are golden brown, about 5 minutes.