Five Ways to Cook a Carrot

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January 31, 2018

The Farmer's Market is overflowing with carrots the week, as is your CSA share, no doubt. That should be cause for celebration, as this humble root veg can be easily transformed into a variety of tender, sweet, crunchy, earthy dishes, either shredded and used raw, or by employing any number of different cooking techniques. The carrot is nothing if not forgiving, so here we present five basic recipes to use as a jumping off point. Adjust the seasonings to fit your meal and go wild with add-ins like ginger, garlic, or toasted almonds to create your own signature carrot creations.

Credit: SergeIchekman

Roasted

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Cut 1 pound carrots into 1-inch pieces and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and, if desired, other seasonings.

Make sure the carrots are coated then spread out into one layer on a baking sheet.

Roast carrots, stirring twice during cooking, until they are tender with edges that are lightly browned, 20 to 30 minutes.

Stir Fried

Cut carrots into small matchsticks. Dice garlic, ginger, and green onion.

In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine  and ¼ cup vegetable or chicken stock, or water.

Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch steel skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates within a second or two when added to the pan.  Swirl 1 tablespoon oil in wok; add garlic and ginger; stir-fry for no more than 10 seconds. Add carrots and white and light green parts of onions or scallions; stir-fry for 1 minute. Add some salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar; toss together and add soy sauce mixture. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Credit: Olha_Afanasieva
Credit: Olha_Afanasieva

Baked

In a large bowl, combine 6 cups shredded carrots (about 2 pounds), 3/4 cup chopped green onions, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add additional seasonings, if desired.

Transfer to an ungreased 1-1/2-qt. baking dish. Dot with butter.

Cover and bake at 325° for 45-50 minutes or until carrots are crisp-tender.

Pan Fried

Peel carrots and trim them, leaving an inch or so of the green top.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add some oil, then the carrots. Season with salt and pepper.

Rolling the carrots so they color on all sides, cook until they are golden, about 5 minutes. Add butter and rosemary, if you like, and continue cooking until the carrots are tender, about 5 more minutes.

Boiled

Wash 1 pound carrots and remove tops. Bring a small amount of salted water to a boil and cook 7 to 9 minutes for 1/4-inch slices, 4 to 6 minutes for strips, or 8 to 10 minutes for baby carrots, or until tender.

Remove and season as desired with butter, oil, spices, or a light vinaigrette.

Alternatively, cook carrots a few minutes longer, and then mash with salt, pepper, butter, and a touch of brown sugar.

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