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Carrots

Contributed by: Jennifer Wickes

History / Geography

Afghanistan

Science

Daucus carota (sativa) - parsley family

Season

Carrots are usually a autumn/winter vegetable, but will be seen all year long being they are one of the most popular vegetables!

How to Select

Choose your carrots with green, moist greenery, and firm, smooth carrots. Avoid limp carrots with black or soft spots.

Storage

If storing whole carrots, remove the greenery beforehand, then place in a plastic bag and store in your refrigerator. If you would like to store for longer than two weeks, like this, in the refrigerator, then blanch your carrots first and freeze.

Nutritional Qualities

Carotene, fibre, potassium, pectin and Vitamins A and B.

Trivia

Limp carrots can be revived by placing them in a bowl of iced water.

Wine Pairings

For raw vegetables: Pinot Grigio, Chenin Blanc. For carrot soup: Zinfandel. For carrot cake: Sauternes, Vouvray.

Spices

Allspice, anise seed, cardamom, chives, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, dill, fennel, fines herbes, ginger, mace, marjoram, mint, mustard, nutmeg, parsley, savory, tarragon, thyme, turmeric.

Equivalencies

  • 1 lb. = 3 c. chopped = 2 1/2 c. grated = 2 c. cooked
  • 1 - 2 medium carrots = 1 c. shredded
  • Serving Size: 1/4 - 1/3 lb. fresh per person; 1/2 lb. cooked per person

Preparation

  • Blanch / Parboil: Place sliced carrots in cold, salted water and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
  • Boiling: Whole Baby / 1/4" slices = cover, boil 5 - 10 minutes. Whole Large Carrots = cover, boil 10 - 20 minutes.
  • Steaming: Whole Baby = 8 - 12 minutes. Slices = 5 - 10 minutes. Whole Large = 12 - 20 minutes.
  • Microwave: Sliced = 1 lb. carrots + 2 tbsp. water / broth = 6 - 8 minutes, stand for 1 minute.
  • Roast: 1" diagonal slices = 325 degrees for 40 - 50 minutes.
  • Grill: 1" slices in foil = medium heat for 25 - 30 minutes
  • Stir-Frying: 1/4" slices + 1 tbsp. oil for 1 minutes, then + 2 tbsp. liquid, cover and cook 3 minutes.

Recipes

Carrot Halwa

  • 3 cups grated carrot
  • 1 1/2 cups half-n-half cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 10 cashew nuts
  • 15 raisins
  • 10 almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

Fry grated carrot in a nonstick pan for 5 minutes on high heat while stirring constantly. Now add cream, sugar and lower heat to medium and cook until all the liquid is absorbed while stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

In a small skillet heat oil and fry cashew nuts until light brown. Add raisins and remove from heat.

Add this to the above along with powdered cardamom and chopped almonds. Serve hot.

If planning to store, then store the cooked carrot only. Add the nuts, raisins, cardamom powder before serving and serve hot.

Yields: 4 servings

Curried Carrot Soup

Recipe By: Public domain recipes

  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 carrots -- peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • plain lowfat yogurt
  • dill weed

Heat 1/4 c. broth in heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots and simmer until tender, about 15 min. Drain.

Puree carrots in processor until smooth. Transfer to heavy large sauce pan. Place over medium heat. Stir in remaining 2 and 1/4 c. broth, curry powder and hot pepper sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

This can be prepared one day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer five minutes.

Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with yogurt and dill weed.

Serve immediately.

Yields: 4 servings

Zucchini-Carrot Bread

Recipe By: Jennifer A. Wickes

  • 1 1/2 cups zucchini -- shredded
  • 1/2 cup carrot -- shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups unbleached flour -- sifted
  • 1/4 cup soy flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon peel
  • 1 cup walnuts -- chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup raisins -- optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8x4 inch loaf pans.

Clean the zucchini, cut off the ends, and shred using a grater. Peel the carrots, trim off the ends and shred with a grater. Mix the zucchini and the carrot with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Place in a colander with a heavy pot on top. Allow to sit for 20 minutes. This will help rid the vegetables of excess water.

Sift together the rest of the flour, soy flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices. Mix thoroughly. Set aside.

Beat the eggs until frothy. Add the applesauce a little at a time and beat well. Then, add the sugar. While still beating, add the pumpkin.

Mix in the vanilla and the lemon peel. When thoroughly mixed, add the carrot and zucchini.

Add the dry ingredients a little at a time. Be careful not to overmix. Slowly mix in the nut and raisins.

Pour into prepared pans.

Bake at 350 F for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a rack to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pans and cool completely.

Store in a refrigerator wrapped in waxed paper, then in foil.

Yields: 2 loaves

Jennifer A. Wickes is a freelance food writer, researcher and cookbook reviewer. She has written several eBooks, and has had numerous articles and recipes in printed publications, as well as on- line. She is working on her first cookbook. For more information about Jennifer or her work, please visit her home page: http://home.comcast.net/~culinaryjen/Home.html


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