The Surprisingly Spectacular Carrot: 3 Chef Recipes to Make Now

I’M VERY TIRED┬áconcerning carrots. It might be interesting for a chef with an experience like me, who runs two establishments (Nostrana and Oven and Shaker, in Portland, Ore.) With access to numerous exotic and delicious ingredients, expressing excitement about a veggie that everyone has at the bottom of their crisper drawer. But I am fascinated.

When I started working professionally, just like many young and passionate chefs, I became drawn towards “fancy” ingredients: foie gras and other obscure cuts of meat and the most sour cheeses. I was drawn to playing with cardoons, favas, and samphire in the produce world. And let’s remember the annual chef frenzy that revolves around ramps.

However, the more I cooked and ate and learned from and respected farmers, the more basic vegetables began to speak to me and reveal their depth as I devoted more attention to how I could help them shine. Carrots can be found everywhere, but they are just as unique as a plant from a specialty food purveyor and for a lesser cost.

Another advantage of carrots is their continuous availability, which is in a decent state, in every supermarket. Ordinary carrots are sold in various shapes: Very large with no green tops. “Storage” carrots come in bags or loose pieces; I prefer loose since I can pick the ones with the proper shape and size to serve my dish. The supermarket carrots are also available in large quantities, sometimes in a rainbow color, with frilly green tops. They look like they’ve just come from the market, regardless of the fact they’re likely coming from a massive produce production.

Get the roasted Carrots with Marsala Butter recipe in the recipe below.

Although carrots may seem unseasonal, following them through the seasons reveals their variety of taste and texture. The spring carrots harvested when mature enough to begin developing flavor but not much larger than your palm tend to be soft and juicy. They are also sweet and delicious. I enjoy displaying these carrots early in salads, either grated or chopped finely. I also like to keep young carrots uncut for dipping.

The longer the carrots remain in the soil, the more earthy their taste is, and then the carrots get more extensive and thicker. Autumn carrots are better suitable for braising and stewing. During cooking, they will become soft and tender and soak up the flavor of other ingredients that make up the recipe.

It is fascinating to note that sometimes mature carrots can be the most delicious, thanks to a phenomenon known as frost kissing. As temperatures drop, many plants will take defensive measures to stop their water contents from freezing, which can damage their cells. The sugar content grows and acts as a natural antifreeze. Carrots aren’t the only root vegetables that can do these “above-ground” vegetables, such as artichokes, Brussels sprouts, Kale cabbages, etc. It too.

After trimming the tops, carrots require a quick peel; if they’re babies, then a gentle scrub should be enough. Cut your carrot in any method your recipe calls for small pieces (one I’ve found appealing), tidy cubes and diagonal chunks, or a delicate Julienne. Cutting carrots in half or cutting them lengthwise accentuates their gorgeous natural shape.

Get the recipe to make Stufato consisting of Carrots and Lamb here.

A variety of ingredients go nicely with carrots. I’ll take a combination of ginger and carrots anytime; however, I like mixing the fresh taste of carrots with a sour flavor, like the anchovies and capers featured in this salad recipe. For my version of carrots and lamb stuff, an Italian stew, the earthy vegetables make an excellent backdrop for the meat’s richness. If I want to increase sweet carrots, I simmer them in honey, butter, and Marsala wine until they’re lightly browned on the edges and then infused with flavor. If such simple vegetables could be a worthy dinner option, the recipe below will convince you.

Marsala Butter-Braised Carrots

The sweet taste of Marsala and honey greatly complement the earthiness of carrots. Don’t be intimidated by the amount of butter you’ll need: It binds the flavors.

Ingredients

  • Four tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 lbs of carrots (about seven medium carrots) Peeled and cut along the diagonal into 3/8-inch-thick slices
  • 1/4 cup and six tablespoons of water
  • One teaspoon of sea salt fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 cup dry Marsala

Directions

  1. On a 12-inch saute pan on moderately low heat, gently melt butter. Add the carrots, and stir well to coat. Add 3/4 cup water or enough to cover the carrots about 2/3 up. Cook under cover until the water has evaporated in about 15 minutes. Mix in honey, salt as well as one cup of Marsala. Add three tablespoons of water. Add two tablespoons of Marsala as the liquid evaporates and cook until it is completely evaporated. Please pay attention to the carrots so that they don’t burn. Repeat the process by adding three tablespoons of water and two tablespoons of Marsala. The carrots are cooked when they turn brown around the edges and become incredibly soft. Sprinkle with salt.
  2. Carrots are delicious served right away or cooled, then reheated by baking in the oven. They are suitable to store in the refrigerator for up three days.

Grated Carrot Salad With Capers, Anchovies, Parsley and Garlic

It’s a reminiscence of the classic carrot salad served in Paris restaurants. This recipe takes it to the Italian direction. The intense flavor of capers and anchovies contrasts with the sweet taste of the raw carrot.

Ingredients

  • Six large sweet carrots peeled and then julienned using a mandoline or grate in the food processor.
  • 3 cups finely chopped Italian parsley leaves
  • Three tablespoons capers
  • One small clove of garlic
  • Three anchovy fillets in oil, then finely chopped.
  • Fine sea salt 1/4 cup plus additional salt to taste
  • Six tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice plus other flavors to suit your needs

Directions

  1. If you are using capers in brine, wash them thoroughly. If using salted capers, rinse them and place them into 1 cup of cold water for 10 minutes before draining them before continuing with the recipe.
  2. Mix carrots with parsley, rinsed capers, and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. To make the dressing, chop garlic and then finely chop and add one teaspoon of salt. Mix the minced garlic with chopped anchovies, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and olive oil in a small dish. Mix well and allow to macerate for five minutes. After macerating the dressing, stir with the juice of a lemon until it has well-emulsified.
  4. Pour dressing over the carrots and mix thoroughly. Taste and add water or salt if required. Allow salad to rest in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve chilled.

Stufato of Carrots and Lamb

Rose wine brings a zing to this delicate and light stew that’s genuinely original; however, you could use it for a dry white wine if you happen to have it available.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless lamb leg, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Three tablespoons extra-virgin olive oils
  • Black pepper freshly crushed and finely seasoned sea salt.
  • One large onion peeled, cut in half, and then chopped into half circles
  • 2 cups of dry rose or white wine
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • Two bay leaves
  • One teaspoon of dried thyme
  • One tablespoon of dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 pounds tender, young carrots peeled and cut into 2 inches roll-cut or oblique-cut pieces
  • 1. (15.5-ounce) container of chickpeas cleaned and then drained
  • Two whole lemons
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions

  1. Pat lamb pieces dry. Warm olive oil in an oven deep enough for braising or a Dutch oven over medium-high temperature, but don’t let it get too hot or smoke. Add lamb chunks to the pan and fry on all sides, approximately 10 minutes in total. (You might have to cook the meat in small batches so they don’t crowd in the skillet.) Remove the cooked meat from the pan and sprinkle generously with salt and spices.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium, and add onions and add salt. Stir the onions around until soft but not burned in approximately 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of wine tomatoes, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, and lamb. Then, boil, close the lid, and cook at a moderate simmer for about an hour. (Keep in mind the temperature, examining it each 15 min or more to avoid the mixture from boiling.)
  3. When the meat is cooked, however, it isn’t dry and splintering. Move a spoon with a slotted handle from the pot onto a plate. Cover with foil and place it aside.
  4. Add the remaining wine and carrots to the pot, cover, and cook over low heat until the carrots become tender but not falling apart, approximately 45 minutes. Carrots absorb plenty of liquid. Add more water as necessary if they soak up all the liquid but remain not soft.
  5. Return the lamb, along with any leftover juices, back to the pot. Add chickpeas to the bank and heat gently for about 10 minutes. Before serving, juice one lemon and mix the liquid into the pool. Sprinkle some salt and pepper.
  6. Cut the remaining lemon into wedges. Pour stuff into shallow bowls, then top the servings with a generous teaspoon of parsley. Serve immediately, accompanied by the lemon wedges and the remaining parsley on the table.
  7. Stew can be chilled and eaten the next day. When serving, bring stuff up to room temperature, then slowly heat.

 

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