Thursday, 21 July 2011
What do I do with... carrots?
When I was a child, my grandfather had a vegetable garden in which he grew carrots. My grandparents' home was where we spent our Christmas holidays (which were in the height of summer, remember), as did all the rest of family: my mother's siblings and their spouses and - in due course - children. The cousins all played in the garden. When we got thirsty, we drank water straight out of the garden tap. If there was a hosepipe attached to the tap, we drank straight out of that. It didn't occur to us to do anything else. When we felt peckish, we dug up a carrot or pilfered some beans.
I still remember the taste of a just-washed carrot straight from the garden.
So, yes. You can eat them raw. Just like that, or dipped in houmous or sour cream and chive dip. You can also grate them up and pop them in a salad.
And before I go getting all sensible, they make a wonderful cake ingredient (but the icing absolutely has to be cream cheese icing!).
They can also be steamed or boiled (I prefer steaming) until just soft to serve as a vegetable. If you're not accustomed to cooking carrots, it is better to err on the side of raw rather than slushy and completely overcooked. If you saw Forrest Gump, you will know that 'peas 'n keerets' are a very good combination!
You could mash them together with potato and swedes, which is very popular in Sweden (although they don't call swedes by that name there, as you might expect).
Carrots can also be roasted. Just pop them in with your parsnips and/or beetroot next time.
And there is an endless supply of soup recipes involving carrots to one degree or another. Too many for me to even start trying to link to them all.
One really great thing about carrots is that you can grate them up into mince dishes while cooking (a) to make the dish go a bit further and (b) to get some veg down the neck of your picky eaters without their even noticing.
Image by kumarnm