Recipe For Health
by Chef Kurt Kwaitkowski
Featured Food: carrots Yield: Makes 4-5 servings Learn more about carrots

Ingredients

  • 5 medium-size carrots
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 shallot, small dice
  • 2 Tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons honey
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation

Scrub carrots and remove green tops. Peel if desired. Cut into 1-inch pieces then bisect cut. Place carrots in pan and cover with water. Boil gently until cooked through and fork tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain.

Heat olive oil in a cast iron or non-stick over medium heat. When the oil is hot, place carrots in a single layer, cut side down, in the skillet. Cook for about 7 to 10 minutes until carrots are golden brown. Flip them and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add butter, shallot, ginger, garlic and cilantro. Continue to cook for one minute.  

Remove carrots from the skillet to a serving dish. Drizzle with honey as desired and season with salt and pepper.  

Learn More About carrots

I can relate to Mr. McGregor. Rabbits invaded my garden and hardly let a feathery leaf sprout from the soil before gnawing it off. Fortunately other growers are more successful in getting carrots to maturity. They bring their abundance of just-pulled carrots to market in mid to late summer.

Unlike other seasonal produce, you may not yearn for carrots. Their season is obscured by the year round availability of the carrots you find in plastic bags in your local supermarket. Bagged carrots come from refrigerated storage where a cool environment and an abundance of time allow their starch to convert to sugar. That’s why they taste so sweet. In-season carrots with their green tops still attached are less than three weeks from harvest. They are mildly sweet and have an intensely rich carrot flavor. 

Look for firm, crisp medium-size carrots with a smooth exterior and void of soft or discolored spots. If the tops are still attached, they should be bright green. When you get them home, lop off the tops leaving about an inch of the green stems. Refrigerate them in an open-top plastic bag. They will maintain their quality and flavor for a week or two. 

Fresh carrot flavor is enhanced by roasting or pan browning. Long, slender carrots roasted whole with the little green stems still attached make a pretty presentation. Scrub the carrots and cut away any blemishes. No need to peel them. Trim stems to ½-inch. Toss with olive oil and a little salt. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet or broiler pan bottom. Roast at 475°F for 20 to 25 minutes; shake the pan every 5 to 10 minutes for even browning. If your carrots have a larger diameter, roasting is still a good option. Just begin the process by cutting long diagonal slices about ¼-inch thick. 

My experiment planting seeds for various colors of carrots—yellow, orange, dark purple, even white—was nipped in the bud. Evidently, the tops all taste the same to garden bunnies. 

Peggy Crum MA, RD

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