Carrots are going center-stage at restaurants these days! That’s because this humble root vegetable is not only an excellent source of nutrition, but is also much more versatile than you might imagine.
The health benefits of carrots are well documented: they are an excellent source of vitamin A, as well as a good source of potassium, vitamins C and B6, copper, folic acid, thiamine and magnesium. And you’ll also find, in smaller amounts, essential oils, carbohydrates and nitrogenous composites.
Carrots are of course delicious: not the old, stringy ones, but the sweet, crunchy kind that are at their best right now, in the fall.
How do you like to eat your carrots? Do you crunch on them raw? Cover them in some tasty onion dip? Break out the juicer to prepare some delicious carrot juice? Add them to your favorite salad? Or maybe get fancier and bake a carrot cake?
These are all excellent ways to consume carrots, but did you know that across the country, restaurants are experimenting with new ways to prepare carrots?
From The New York Times:
Carrots, those little spark plugs in a salad or a stew, have suddenly become an engine driving restaurant menus. Chefs across the country are showcasing handsome, meaty specimens in a rainbow of colors, dressed and garnished without a sliver of meat or fish. Well, maybe a touch of bacon.
“People are feeling more comfortable with having something like carrots in the center of the plate,” said Dan Kluger, the executive chef at ABC Kitchen in New York, where a salad of roasted carrots and avocado has become one of his most popular, and imitated, dishes.
Troy Guard, the chef and owner of TAG in Denver, makes a carrot taco that puts the root vegetable through its paces, with a carrot tortilla and a filling of braised carrots, a salad of raw carrots and cilantro, and guacamole.
In case you’re still not convinced, here are some more recipes using carrots that you may not have considered:
- This carrot and red pepper soup is one of my favorites. It takes a while to prepare, but it is rich and very tasty.
- For an unusual blend of flavors, try this recipe for cedar-roasted carrots with tofu and carrot pesto.
- How about this exotic dish: roasted carrots with mole poblano, yogurt and watercress?
- Ever tried these recipes for carrot daikon radish pickles?
- Or tasted carrot ice cream and cotton candy?
And more from The New York Times:
At the Boston restaurant Clio, Ken Oringer is serving an entree of heirloom carrots cooked in goat butter and topped with hay that is then ignited. At Stella Rossa Pizza Bar in Santa Monica, Calif., Jeff Mahin salt-roasts carrots, as one might a fish, and dresses them with a Burgundy-mustard vinaigrette, a dish that customers often order to share along with pizza, as a main course.
Have fun experimenting with some new recipes! A final tip: keep all the nutrients in your carrots by scrubbing them, rather than peeling them.
Related Care2 Coverage
Photo Credit: mamichan