Carrots are so sweet, so bright, so crunchy, so... cartoony. They are almost as cheerful as bananas. I've been inspired to play with them over the last few weeks. Here are three carrotty recipes:
Moroccan carrot and orange saladServes one or two for lunch
I had something like this at Grainstore in Kings Cross. It was just the ticket for a grim January day, using the sparkling freshness of winter citrus, and the textural sweet bite of carrots. This is my version. You'll need a spiraliser or julienne peeler to make this salad. I've been using a julienne peeler which is a cheaper version of the spiraliser but I think I may now invest in the real thing. I'm a big fan of all carrot salads, including the classic French starter carrottes rapées (recipe in my Supper Club book). I can eat a big bowl of carrot salad by myself.
4 good stiff carrots, spiralised
2 oranges, peeled, pith removed, segmented
1 red onion, julienned (optional)
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tbsp of orange flower water
4 tbsp of olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp of rose harissa
1 tsp of sea salt
Garnish with rose petals if you want to get fancy.
Prepare the carrots and oranges and red onion (if using). Here is the easiest way to segment an orange. Make the dressing by mixing together all the ingredients and toss the salad (with your hands if you wish). The great thing about carrot salad is that it doesn't 'burn' as the French say, once it has the dressing. It will last two or three days in the fridge.
Carrot marmalade, carrot juice, simmered carrotsServes 4 as a side
I've just discovered carrot jam or marmalade in a local shop. I decided to braise some carrots in this sweet confection which resulted in a delicious sticky carrot glaze. I'm also a big fan of cooking vegetables in their own juices, hence the carrot juice.
500g carrots, sliced into 1cm slices
3 tbsps of carrot jam
200ml of carrot juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp of sea salt
Garnish with fresh parsley or coriander
Place all the ingredients into a medium saucepan on a medium heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Cedar roasted carrots with birch syrup
Serves 4 as a side
Maple syrup, brown rice syrup, agave syrup, are all good vegan replacements for honey, which strict vegans will not eat. You can replace the birch syrup with any of these ingredients for this recipe. Carrots are one of the sweetest vegetables, roasting boosts the caramelisation anyway.
2 sheets cedar or wood papers
500g baby carrots or large carrots, quartered
50ml Birch or maple syrup
4 tbsps Smoked oak rapeseed oil
1 tsp smoked sea salt or red wine salt