Use the highest-quality baby carrots you can find at a farmers market; a variety of white, purple and yellow would be most appealing.
Make Ahead: The carrots and marmalade can be made 1 day in advance; refrigerate in an airtight container. Reheat the carrots and marmalade in separate saucepans over medium-low heat, just until warmed through.
- For the onion-orange marmalade
- 1 cup wildflower honey
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into several small pieces
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2 medium oranges, sliced thin, then seeded
- 4 medium onion, cut into thin slices
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- For the carrots
- 4 pounds baby carrots, preferably from the farmers market, trimmed (not baby-cut carrots)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, finely chopped
For the onion-orange marmalade: Heat the honey in a large saucepan over medium heat for several minutes, until it darkens slightly in color. Add the butter and cook until the mixture is foamy (with solids from the butter). Add the sherry vinegar and stir to combine; reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring often, for 15 to 25 minutes to achieve a nice glaze consistency.
Add the orange juice and orange slices, the onions, broth and the herbs, stirring to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cook (uncovered), stirring occasionally, for 2 hours, until the onions are glazed and lightly caramelized.
For the carrots: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Use olive oil to lightly grease the bottom of a large roasting pan. Add the carrots, arranging as many as possible in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dot with the pieces of butter. Slow-roast (uncovered), stirring once or twice, for 1 hour, until the carrots are fork-tender and golden brown in spots.
Just before serving, sprinkle the warm carrots in the roasting pan with the chopped cumin seeds. Serve each portion of carrots with a small amount of the onion-orange marmalade spooned on top.
Adapted from chef Michael Mina.
Tested by David Varley.
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