Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Rabbiting About Carrots

Mention carrots to young and old and you're bound to get the same reaction - a grimace. Yet these diet vital veggies are tasty,bringing just the right amount of sweetness to any lunch or dinner. They're good raw or cooked, served with dressing or with butter. They really are a treat.

As a lifelong carrot lover, I can only write good things about one of my most favorite vegetable.s I have always loved them cooked and drenched in butter.  Not surprising they are one of the world's oldest prepared vegetable. first being grown in ancient Persia. Their leaves and seeds were valued and then eventually the taproot underneath.They  then spread to Europe.where it grew wild,  being cultivated in ancient Switzerland and Germany.Carrots were  part of the varied Roman diet.The early versions of the veggie were originally purple and , red and yellow. The orange kind was probably cultivated in what is now Afghanistan and were introduced to Europe through the Netherlands in the 1700s. The name comes from ker or horn, It is a biennial plant, usually growing in the summer but some slower growing varieties are being harvested now in the fall. The roots contain high quantities of both alpha and beta carotene along with high amounts of Vitamin K and B6.They're also high in potassium too as well as in lutein.It's an easy grow for novice gardeners and is great first plant for little green thumbs An extra plus is that carrot stems produce clusters of pretty white flowers, similar in look to Queen Anne's lace.

What abut carrots themselves? Again a simple , yet delicious side dish is just cooked carrots ith butter.It's boiling them in water until tender and then adding  a quarter of a cup of butter or margarine. Some add brown sugar,but that's just making them too sweet ad taking away from their natural sweetness. Minced garlic can be added to give it some oomph but be sparing with it. Many home chefs go the ultra sweet route when it comes to them. There are many recipes that call for everything from maple syrup to refined sugar. Don't go this route.Aim for ingredients that accentuate their flavor. Cook them with different herbs such as dill or rosemary.Again be sparing ith them. Too many herbs may give the carrots a medicinal taste. Carrots are also great in combos.Try them with green beans and button mushrooms as a great side to both chicken and beef. Sub in cauliflower for the mushrooms for another nice companion to holiday and Sunday roasts.Raw carrots are perfect in crudite plates. Try them and other raw veggies with such good dips as a classic vinaigrette or a simple Greek yogurt.Anything sweet like a French or Russian dressing dip would detract from the carrots. Carrots also make lovely decorations too. There are carrot curls and carrot roses, both easy to create.

Give carrots  a try. They're great starting off a holiday meal or Sunday dinner or as a side to any roast. They're not only good for you but good tasting, their sunny brightness adding to any plate.

No comments: