Cooking with Carrots / easy recipes

About this time in winter I start looking for fresh vegetables that don’t require my approaching a senate subcommittee for a bailout. I’d have taken my private jet toWashingtonto ask but I had to hock it last week to buy hamburgers and pay my kids college tuition. This is when I turn to my friend the carrot

Carrots are a fantastic source of vitamin A. In fact, a single carrot provides two times the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A. They are also low in calories and sodium are a source of potassium and a cup contains less than 50 calories. Surprisingly to most, carrots come in orange, red, black yellow, white, purple and you can roast them, grill them, simmer them in stocks and stews, toss them in a stir fry or on a salad or just eat them raw.

While most people I know love the pre peeled mini-carrots that are perfect for snacking or throwing in a salad or lunch bag you pay for convenience. These ready to go treats can cost three times as much as peeling your own.

Store carrots in the refrigerator, they’ll keep for at least a month stored in an open bag in your vegetable drawer. To peel or not to peel is a question most cooks ask at one time or another. You do not have to peel your carrots. If you wash them well with a vegetable brush it’s just a matter of looks.

My favorite way to prepare carrots is to oven roast them. The roasting caramelizes the sugar and creates a delicious, lip smacking side dish. To roast them, slice them in 1″ chunks, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet, dot with butter or margarine or drizzle olive oil over them and bake covered, at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.

Before you get to the recipes, I have to share a carrot factoid I discovered in my extensive search. Mel Blanc, the voice of the quintessentially carrot loving Bugs Bunny, hated carrots, go figure.


MOROCCAN CARROT SALAD

 

4 large carrots cut into 1 inch wedges.
1/2 cup black olives.
6 to 7 radish, sliced thinly.
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon of paprika.
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin or 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch cinnamon.
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
juice of 1 fresh lemon
1/3 cup olive oil

 

Bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the carrots and cook until tender and then rinse them with cold water. Drain the carrots and mix with the olives and radishes. In another bowl combine the garlic, cumin, pepper, cinnamon, salt, parsley, lemon and olive oil. Mix to combine Pour the marinade over the carrot, olives and radishes and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1/2 hour for flavors to meld. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

 

CARROT SPREAD

 

3/4 cup of finely grated carrots.
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened.
1 stick of margarine, softened.
2 tablespoons chopped green olives
2 tablespoons of grated onion
Dash of white pepper.

 

In a bowl of an electric mixer or food processor combine all the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour. Makes 1 1/2 cup spread

 

SCALLOPED CARROTS

 

4 cups sliced carrots
1 medium onion diced
3 tablespoon butter
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup cheddar cheese grated
3 cups herb stuffing
1/3 cup butter melted

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 2 qt. casserole dish and set it aside. Cook carrots in salted water until almost tender. Drain. In a skillet melt the 3 tablespoons butter and saute the onions until soft. Stir in soup, salt, pepper and cheese. Stir in the cooked carrots. Place the carrot mixture in the prepared casserole dish. In a bowl combine the bread stuffing with the melted butter. Mix to coat and spoon over the carrots mixture. Bake for 20 minutes. Serves 6. This recipe can be doubled or tripled

CARROT PUFF

 

2 1/2 cups carrots, cooked, mashed, and seasoned with salt and pepper

2 egg yolks, beaten

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup bread crumbs

1 tablespoon finely chopped onion

2 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 2 qt. casserole dish. In a bowl combine the cooked carrots, egg yolks, milk, bread crumbs and onions. Mix to combine. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the egg whites until they are stiff and then fold them lightly into the carrot mixture. Turn into prepared casserole dish. Bake at 45-60 minutes, or until knife inserted comes out clean. Serve immediately. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

CARAMEALIZED CARROT COUSCOUS

1 lb carrots, very coarsely grated
3-4 large onions, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoon sugar
salt to taste
spices to taste, such as ground coriander,
1 package couscous (prepared according to the package directions)
2 tablespoon margarine for frying
Fresh lemon juice (optional)
toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Saute onion in margarine over medium heat until soft, then add carrot, salt, sugar and spices.  Cover and leave on medium to low medium heat, checking occasionally to ensure that it doesn’t burn, but not stirring so frequently that it don’t get a nice variation of browning.  Should be done in about 10 minutes. Serve over warmed couscous topped with toasted sesame seeds. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled

SWEET SPICED CARROTS WITH APRICOTS

4 cups baby carrots (or small-cut carrots) steamed yet a little firm
1 onion chopped
1 cup dried apricots chopped up
3 to 4  tablespoons oil (for frying)
1/4 cup  brown sugar
about 1/2 cup water
a generous dash each of: ground ginger, ground cloves and allspice
salt and pepper

In a frying pan, fry up onions with oil (and garlic if you choose to use it) until the onions are soft. Add the spices, sugar, and apricots to the pan. When the sugar has been absorbed, add the water so it’s like a sauce and has a little liquid to cook in. Add the carrots (they should be steamed a little before hand so they cook faster), and cook for a few minutes. Stir with the sauce, until they are covered nicely and a little brown. Serves: 4 to 6

 

Modified from a recipe by Charlotte Millman

PEANUT ORANGE AND CARROT SALAD

1/4 cup peanut butter

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, shredded

1 pound shredded carrots

4 green onions, sliced

1/2 cup chopped peanuts

salt and pepper to taste
In a medium microwaveable bowl, microwave the peanut butter for about 10 seconds to soften. Whisk in the tamari, orange juice and ginger; stir in a splash of hot water if the sauce begins to tighten up. Stir the carrots and green onions into the dressing and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the mixture in a serving bowl and top with peanuts. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

 

CARROT APPLE SALAD

 

2 cups firmly-packed shredded apple

2 cups shredded, firmly-packed carrots

1/2 cup raisins (optional)

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon sour cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon honey

 

In a large mixing bowl, toss the shredded apples, carrots and raisins (if using) together. In another bowl whisk together the lemon juice, sour cream, vanilla and honey. Pour the dressing over the apple carrot salad and toss well. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

 

CRANBERRY GLAZED CARROTS

 

2 lbs. baby carrots

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 cup jellied cranberry sauce

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon lemon or orange juice

kosher salt

pepper

 

In a saucepan, boil the baby carrots in boiling salted water until tender-crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well and leave the carrots in the pan. Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan and cook for 5 minutes or until nicely glazed and piping hot, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

 

SAVORY CARROT AND APPLE CASSEROLE

 

1 lb carrots, peeled, cut into sticks

2 large white onions, sliced into wedges

5 tablespoons butter (or margarine)

3 large apples, cored, thinly sliced into rings

1 teaspoon thyme (optional)

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 2 quart casserole dish. Steam carrots in boiling salted water until tender-crisp. Set aside. In a skillet saute the onions in the butter until golden. In the prepared dish, layer the carrots, onions and apples. Sprinkle with thyme. Drizzle with lemon juice. Melt the remaining butter and then mix in bread crumbs. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over vegetable mixture. Bake degrees for 15 minutes or until vegetables are heated through and crumbs are golden brown. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

 

SAVORY CARROT AND TARRAGON TART

 

Crust
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh tarragon leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup yogurt

Filling
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
2 tablespoons white wine or vinegar, divided
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon or 3/4 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

 

Preheat oven to 350.  To prepare crust: Coat a 9- to 10-inch tart pan with cooking spray. Place flour, tarragon and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor; pulse to combine. Add butter one piece at a time, pulsing once or twice after each addition, until incorporated. Add 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup yogurt and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan (it will be crumbly), spread evenly and press firmly into the bottom and all the way up the sides to form a crust. Bake the crust until set but not browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. To prepare filling: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in carrots and 1 tablespoon wine or vinegar and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.  Spread mustard over the crust. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese and then evenly spread the carrot mixture in the tart shell.  Whisk 1/2 cup yogurt, milk, eggs, tarragon, the remaining 1 tablespoon wine or vinegar), 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and pour in the filling.  Bake the tart until the filling is firm and the edges are golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or chilled.

 

CAULIFLOWER AND CARROT PIE

 

2 cups seasoned croutons, crushed

1/2 cup butter, melted, divided

1 small head cauliflower cut into small florets (about 5 Cups)

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 cup shredded Cheddar, divided

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 375. In a bowl, combine croutons and 1/4 cup butter. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9 inch pie plate. Bake for 8 minutes or until lightly browned; set aside. In a large skillet sauté the cauliflower, onion, carrot, garlic, salt and oregano in remaining butter over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese into prepared crust. Top with the cauliflower mixture and remaining cheese. In a bowl, beat the eggs and milk. Pour over pie. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean and the cauliflower is tender. Serves 6 to 8

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