I was once told by Gilian Handelman, director of wine education for Kendall-Jackson, that the best way to pair wine with food is to match them by color. While it may sound ridiculously simplistic, it works more often than not, and can be applied to pairings between two foods as well.
Carrots glazed with orange juice is a prime example of using a monochromatic color scheme to make a pairing. I recently found myself wondering if other principles of color theory could be applied to food as well. Would orange foods work with an analogous color such as red?
To test this theory, I picked up some blood oranges and made some glazed carrots with them. The color from the blood orange juice amps up the color of the carrots taking them from a respectable orange to a vibrant construction cone orange that begs to be eaten.
But the matchup goes beyond mere color. The sweet, tender gems can back up their flashy looks with a bold flavor that will turn even the most ardent carrot hater. Blood orange juice is more tart than regular orange juice with just a hint of bitterness. The added acidity keeps the sauce from becoming too cloying, and the bitterness provides just enough of a contrast to keep the carrots from becoming monotonous.
It’s not a definitive conclusion, but it certainly has me wondering about other color harmonies. Will complimentary colors work as well? What about a triadic combination?
Blood Orange Glazed Carrots
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4" thick coins
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/3 cup blood orange juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat melt the butter. Add the carrots and sauté until slightly brown around the edges.
- Add the honey and boil until the honey is thick and bubbly.
- Add the orange juice and salt, Boil until the carrots are tender and the sauce has reduced into a thick glaze.
Yield: 4 servings
Marc Matsumoto is a food blogger and photographer who spreads his passion for food through his websites norecipes.com and wanderingcook.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blogs in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.