In my kitchen, carrots are considered a boring vegetable. They’re a staple in soups and peeled, and raw carrots are the go-to side vegetable when I’m serving French Dip sandwiches for dinner. Once in a while, if I’m out of all other vegetables to serve with a hot beef or chicken dinner, I’ll glaze carrots because I always seem to have them in the fridge.
I don’t think of carrots as a vegetable to get creative with, but I saw a recipe on Chef Steps that intrigued me and made me wonder how I could get more creative with these colorful root vegetables. Fresh, local, bright orange, purple and yellow carrots will be piled on the tables at the farmers market in the upcoming months. Maybe it’s time to bring carrots out of the boring role they have in my kitchen and do something surprising with them. These three recipes are a good place to start.
The recipe that got my creative wheels going, this is supposed to taste “more like a carrot than a carrot, and more like butter than butter.” Intriguing, right? The ingredients listed on ChefSteps are simple, carrot juice, butter and ice water, but the process is a bit involved and takes about an hour of hands-on preparation.
When you’re done, you have an ingredient that you can use like other butters, including melting it into soups or for sautéing mushrooms or scallops. I’m also picturing it melted, served in a small, see-through bowl for effect, to dip fresh crab or lobster.
Carrot Ginger Sauce
Carrot Ginger Sauce complements Asian dishes wonderfully. (Photo: srinal_photo/shutterstock)
With ginger, soy sauce and Asian sesame oil, this sauce from Fine Cooking is perfect to use on stir-fries, to dip sushi in, or to pour over grilled or roasted pork. I bet it would also perk up a salad when used as a dressing.
It’s simple to make, too. After sautéing shallots in some oil, broth and carrots are added and simmered together until the carrots are tender. It’s all poured into a blender with a handful of other ingredients, pureed, strained, and voila — a versatile, Asian-Influenced sauce.
Carrot Tart with Ricotta and Herbs
Carrots come in other colors besides orange. Use them all. (Photo: Elena Dijour/shutterstock)
Carrots rarely get a starring role in anything this pretty, but this tart recipe on Bon Appétit puts carrots front and center. Puff pastry is spread with a ricotta/cream mixture and topped with sautéed carrots and onions. Use a mixture of orange, purple and yellow carrots for a colorful, appealing tart that’s served room temperature.
I bet your looking at those carrots in your crisper a little differently now, aren’t you? I know I am.