Copied form this weeks veg share leaflet that goes out to all CSA veg share members 16/01/2013
Lovely bright, sometimes knobbly, carotene rich wonders!
I love Carrots, especially raw. The centre of their core is just so sweet and juicy when eaten fresh it always feels to me like they’ve cleaned my teeth, strengthened my jaws and given me a drink all in one.
As some of you may have noticed the farms Carrots have done exceptionally well. It is possibly that the soil is ideal for them whilst they have managed to survive what has in many ways been a very challenging growing season nationally.
Potatoes for example have taken a bashing on a national scale with the Coop near where I live selling French Potatoes at what should be the height of British potato season.
So although a kilo of Carrots for the Medium shares seem alot I am always glad that we have them in such good numbers.
But I thought that maybe it was time to do a recipe sheet that celebrated them and made them the star of the show while giving some inspiration as to what to do with them all.
Carmelised Carrots with gremolata
According to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall “The contrast of sweet, caramelised carrots and Zesty gremolata is brilliant - and it looks great too.”
Roasting carrots is a great way to boil all the sweetness down, they are really good then added to a stew or soup for a sweeter carroty taste.
1 Tablespoon of oil
30g of butter
300g of carrots, larger carrots cut in half lengthways
Sea salt and black pepper
FOR THE GREMOLATA
Garlic cloves to taste
A bunch of flat leaf parsley
finely grated zest of one lemon
Preheat the oven to 180oc/ gas mark 4. Put the oil and butter in a large roasting dish and place in the oven until the butter melts.
Add the carrots, season generously with salt and pepper and toss well. Cover with foil and roast in the oven for 30 - 40 minutes, until the carrots are tender.
Take the dish out of the oven, remove the foil and give the carrots a stir. Roast, uncovered, for 20 - 30 minutes, until they start brown and caramelise.
While the carrots are in the oven, make the gremolata. Roughly chop the garlic on a large board, then add the parsley and lemon zest. Use a large, sharpe knife to chop and mix the three ingredients together until fine and well mixed.
As soon as carrots are ready, toss them the gremolata and serve straight away.
Carrot and Mushroom Soymilk Soup
Borrowed from The enlightened kitchen by Mari Fujii.
Now I haven’t personally tried this soup but thought it might be a winner so any feedback welcome!
3.5 Ounces (300g) of peeled carrots cut into 1cm pieces
400ml of Soymilk
8 button mushrooms or fresh shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
400ml of Konbu stock
2 teaspoons of salt
2 tablespoons of Sake
Parsley to garnish
Boil the carrots in salted water for 15 mins until soft.
Blend the carrots and soymilk with a soup maker or food processor until smooth.
In a saucepan combine the mushrooms, stock, salt and sake. Cook on a medium heat for 4-5 mins.
Add carrot and soymilk to saucepan, bring to boil, remove from heat, serve with blanched, finely chopped carrot leaves in available.
For a recipe how to make your own Konbu stock please visit our blog bennisonfarm.blogspot.co.uk
Sake’ is a wine made from rice. For more information about Sake’ please visit our blog.
Top Veg prep Tip
Carrots wash best if rinsed while still fresh out of the ground, so if washing carrots with hard soil on is a drag wash yours as soon as you can as they were harvested today!
Amaze your friends and colleagues with these Carrot facts!
1 Carrots were first grown as a medicine
2 Carrots were originally purple, red, white, black and yellow
3 Orange carrots were first grown by the Dutch to please the ruling house of Orange.
4 In James I’s time, fashionable court ladies wore Carrot flowers and feathery leaves in their hair as decoration.
Borrowed from “The cooks Companion” Edited by Jo Swinnerton.
As mentioned above I thought I'd add on here a recipe for making your own Konbu stock. Again as with the soup recipe it is borrowed from "The Enlightened Kitchen" by Mari Fujii.
Konbu is one of the most common stocks used in Japanise temple cuisine.
Ready made Vegan stock (also known as Vegan dashi) can be found in Asian supermarkets and natural food stores.
400ml of water
1 piece of dried Konbu, roughly 10cm square.
The white powder on the surface of the dried Konbu adds to the flavor, so don't wash the Konbu before use, simply wipe it with a damp cloth.
Place the water and the Konbu in a saucepan and leave to soak for 2 or 3 hours.
Place the sauce pan over a medium heat. Just before the water boils, remove the Konbu. Use the Konbu-flavored water as stock.
Sake' is a wine made form rice. Although the buddhist monks avoid alcohol, sake' is often used as seasoning in cooking, or for medicinal purposes. A little sake' is often said to be the "best of all medicines" because it stimulates the circulation, and relieves stress and insomnia.
When cooked rice seems a little too firm, 1 or 2 tablespoons of Sake' will soften it.