Look for: Orange, firm spears without any gray, white or desiccated residue on the skin. The greens should preferably still be attached.
Prep: Peel; cut off greens.
Microwave: Cut carrots into 1/8-inch-thick rounds. Place in a large glass baking dish or pie pan. Add 1/4 cup broth (or white wine). Cover tightly and microwave on High until tender, about 3 minutes.
Roast: Preheat oven to 500°F. Cut carrots in half lengthwise then slice into 1 1/2-inch-long pieces. Spread on a baking sheet or in a pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Coat with 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil. Roast, turning once halfway through cooking, until beginning to brown, about 15 minutes.
Sauté: Cut carrots into 1/8-inch-thick rounds. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add carrots; stir and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon sugar; stir until glazed.
Steam: Cut carrots into 1/8-inch thick rounds. Place in a steamer basket over 1 inch of water in a large pot set over high heat. Cover and steam for 4 minutes.