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
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?