Originally posted on Localvore Today's The Daily Beet on December 2, 2015.
Sometimes, a two-pound bag of juicing carrots feels like the steal of the century when we’re filling up our shopping cart – and then we take it home. The colossal, plastic sac of orange nubbins and Big Bird feet-esque roots quickly goes from the most adult decision we made of the day to a puzzle more complicated than the latest episode of The Leftovers (where did they all go!?).
But never fear – we’ve got two recipes that use a ton of ugly carrots without a ton of work in the kitchen:
Cider Roasted Carrots
Sweet, yet with a little tang from the cider vinegar, this is a great side to make for a group – easy to prepare and without a whole mess of ingredients you’re not apt to have in the pantry. The ricotta can be omitted without a great deal of sadness, but it does add a certain sense of indulgence.
- 12 carrots, peeled and cut into 2” pieces
- 1/4 C unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/4 C maple syrup
- 1/4 C apple cider
- 3 T apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 big pinch salt
- 1-2 big scoops of ricotta
- 3-4 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
- Preheat oven to 450ºF
- Mix everything besides the cheese and seeds in a casserole dish and cook for 45 minutes or until carrots are tender.
- Remove, allow to cool a bit, and garnish with a scoop of soft ricotta on top and a scattering of crunchy pumpkin seeds across the top.
[Recipe adapted from Munchie's Roasted Carrots with Pistachios and Apple Cider Gastrique by Matty Matheson.]
This is a great winter staple - filling and full of cold-weather vitamins. Puréed soup never sounds too sexy, but they’re a worthwhile “skill” to get familiar with. We say “skill” because loading up a blender and flicking the 'on' switch is a quick trick to master. Make a big batch and put some in the freezer for that day of the week that you typically resort to pizza delivery (hey, the bank account always needs a little extra help during the holidays).
- 8 large carrots, peeled
- ¼ C olive oil
- 6 C stock (vegetable or chicken, low sodium preferred)
- 1-2” peeled ginger cut into a few pieces
- 1 t thyme
- 1 C sweet onion
- 2 large garlic cloves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
- Cut the carrots onion up into two-inch pieces. Toss these and the garlic cloves (paper on) with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Broil in the oven, turning every 10 minutes or so, until tender. About 25-30 minutes.
- Simmer the broth, and add the ginger and thyme. If you like a milder soup, pull the ginger out before blending. We go all in and purée the whole shebang.
- Put everything into the simmering broth pot and blend smooth with an emulsion blender. If you’re using a standard blender or food processor, add roasted vegetables and purée in batches.
- Serve with a dollop of goat cheese and a little swig of your favorite vinegar over top.
[Recipe adapted from Food52's Roasted Carrot Soup submitted by Reeve.]