- Carrots (good looking, smallish)
- Sugar (or honey, agave, or maple syrup if you prefer)
- Lots of herbs: mint, winter savory, rosemary, sage, oregano, parsley, or whatever you can get your hands on
For the white pepper sour cream (optional)
- Sour cream (plain yogurt would work well, too)
- White pepper
Trim the tops of the carrots and slice in half them lengthwise, all the way to the tip. Cook in boiling, salted water for about 3 minutes, until just tender. Remove to an ice bath, change the water after a minute or two. Drain when the carrots are cooled.
In a bowl, dress the carrots with oil and a few pinches of both sugar and salt. Heat a flat, wide seasoned pan over medium-high heat. Place the carrots in the pan, cut side down. Let cook until those cut sides are starting to candy, but before any part burns. This involves very careful watching, and a lot of picking up carrots with tongs. I find this sort of thing fun, though– perhaps you do too?
Meanwhile, chop your heaping pile of herbs.
Remove to a baking dish and place in a 300º oven (or transfer your oven-safe pan to the oven), where they will stay warm and continue to candy a bit. When all the carrots are in the baking dish, toss them with the herbs.
When ready to serve, make up a dish of spicy sour cream. Take a few tablespoons in a bowl, add a drizzle of cold water, stir till smooth and just a bit thinner than usual. Add a full 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper, stir again, and serve.