Glazing vegetables is a great way to add a little more class (and flavor) to your meal. I also added some toasted walnuts, but that’s entirely optional.
A basic glaze is an emulsion of butter and water (or even better, chicken stock) that is used to coat the vegetables. Hard vegetables like carrots and other root vegetables, can be cooked in a diluted glaze which is reduced into the final glaze by the time the vegetables are done cooking. Softer vegetables like peas and green beans are typically blanched in salty boiling water, and then glazed just before dinner is ready.
To glaze slow-cooking root vegetables, cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and put them in a pan where they will fit snuggly in a single layer. Almost-cover the vegetables with water or chicken stock, add 3-6 Tbsp butter (depending on the amount of vegetables you use: I used 6 large carrots and 3 Tbsp butter), and bring to a boil. The vegetables will cook as the chicken stock reduces and turns into a glaze. Make sure to monitor the vegetables so they don’t overcook. If you need to, pull them out and let the glaze reduce a little bit more, adding the veggies back in at the end. Also be sure not to reduce the glaze too much, otherwise the water and butter will separate: a thickener like flour (in the form of a beurre maine) or a corn-starch slurry will help prevent this.
To glaze fast-cooking vegetables (i.e. anything that you would eat after a quick blanching), blanch the vegetables and cool them in an ice-bath. When you are ready to glaze them, heat up 1/4-1/2 cup chicken stock or water (volume depends on the pan size and amount of vegetables), add the vegetables and 2-4 Tbsp butter. Toss the vegetables around to warm them up and glaze them with melted butter. The same ideas apply here: don’t let it reduce too much, and use a thickener is necessary.