Thursday, May 27, 2010

In praise of carrots

I don't know why people don't get more excited about carrots. They're seldom fêted by chefs yet they're delicious, colourful and versatile. And so cheap. This was one of a couple of organic bunches I bought at the Bristol weekly farmers' market yesterday for £2. As wrinkled as a centenarian, no supermarket would have looked at them but they were so fresh and crunchy - almost sugar-sweet.

I decided to use them to make a Moroccan-style carrot salad to eat with a home-made chard and spinach paté, crab and asparagus tart and various other bits and pieces we'd put together from our market visit. I recommend it.

Moroccan(ish) carrot and olive salad
Serves 4-6

A bunch of young carrots
3 tbsp light olive oil
A good pinch each of vegetable bouillon powder (I use Marigold) ground cumin and ground coriander
10-12 olives, stoned and sliced
2 heaped tbsp chopped coriander

Cut the carrots off their feathery tops and give them a good scrub. Trim each end and slice the remainder of the carrots thinly and diagonally. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium-sized saucepan or casserole, add the spices and seasoning, stir, then tip in the carrots and turn them in the flavoured oil. Add a splash of water, put a lid on the pan and simmer for 3-4 minutes until just tender. Tip the carrots into a dish, cool for 10 minutes or so then mix in the sliced olives. When the carrots have completely cooled down add the chopped coriander and remaining oil. Serve at room temperature, ideally without refrigerating first.

Are you a fellow carrot fan and if so what's your favourite way of preparing them?


  1. Lovely recipe Fiona, am a carrot-holic, love them in every guise so I completely agree it's odd chefs don't make more of them.

  2. I am a huge fan of organic carrots because they taste really better than the others. Love them in salads, soups and sweets. They def bright up a dish.
    I put this great salad on my list:)

  3. Lovely picture of the dish and a new way to make a salad. I'm lazy with carrots, either I grate them in a salad we call politiki salata, with cabbage and celery and the ladolemono dressing, or I just chop and throw them when I make pasta, quinoa, rice or bulgur to get some veg with it! Quick and easy!

  4. Love the dish Fiona. Its so refreshing to see something diff. I will definitely be trying this. Love the comb of olives with it. I usually serve them sauteed in oil with roasted cumin seeds, chilli flakes & thyme. Sprinkled w some lime juice.

  5. Thanks, all! What's a ladolemo dressing greekcookeryclass - sounds fascinating? And agree on cumin and carrots Maunika - it's a great combination.

  6. Hi Fiona

    I adore making carrot, apple and ginger juice - it's so drinkable and gives me a burst of much needed energy!

    I also grate it and use it in tomato based pasta sauces for my kids instead of onion - it's a great way of sneaking more veg into them!

    Katie x

  7. You're right to remind me of that, Katie. Carrot and apple juice is ace, particularly with a touch of ginger or lemon!