After I’d been a member of my local farm share – Silverlake Farms – for several weeks I realized I needed more carrot recipes. These were the most beautiful vibrant carrots I’d ever seen. I’d been eating them raw or in salads, along with the gorgeous radishes I also received each week.
I scoured the internet and asked my cooking friends, but didn’t come up with anything that unusual. Turns out carrots are best in the forms you already know: carrot soup – puréed of course – glazed carrots or as part of a base (as in soups, roasts or mirepoix).
I tried various interesting-sounding dishes I concocted myself, like mirepoix chilaquiles (better than it sounds!) and as an accompaniment in braised cabbage.
I ended up making two soups – the Purist’s form (my friend who knows the right way to cook any food) and one blended with tomato. I also dreamed up a glazed carrot dish with honey and blue cheese. All were supremely delightful.
The first soup was the Purist’s. He believes you don’t need to add any sugar, no seasoning besides salt, pepper and ginger nor any chicken broth nor cream.
And it would only work if you had the correct 2-speed Waring Pro blender and homemade vegetable stock made from organic veggies, preferably purchased at a local farmers’ market. So yes, I bought the blender, but I changed the recipe.
I brought my loot over to my friend and fellow foodie’s apartment, the Comedienne. We sautéed the carrots with shallots, onions and ginger, then added sherry, basil, mint and sage stuffed inside a leek (stuffing a hollow leek with herbs was the best idea the Purist had) and let it simmer. We did add chicken stock and cream and then threw it all in the blender. It was divine.
Another cold night, I took inspiration from Au Bon Pain and tried my hand at a tomato-based soup with puréed carrots. This time I sautéed the carrots with garlic and onion (and ginger, a nod to the Purist), added store-bought organic tomato soup, vegetable and chicken stock plus a tiny bit of cream. This soup was satisfying and rustic. I ate the whole pot that night with a crisp green salad.
And finally, tired of soup, I tried a glazed carrot recipe. I sautéed the carrots in olive and grapeseed oil over high heat, adding a dash of white wine and some garlic – ginger too! – and coarse sea salt. I lowered the heat and cooked it all down a bit, then added some honey and finished it with crumbled sharp blue cheese. Honey goes very well with both carrots and blue cheese, so why not put them all together?
This was definitely the best thing I’ve ever done with carrots.
Read the results of this eating-more-vegetables-in-season experiment:
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