Saturday, July 15, 2006

Summer Carrots with a Snap

I have been so busy lately that while I've taken photos, I haven't had time to write up the things I've been cooking out of the garden. We've gloried in wonderful heirloom golden, chiogga, and oxheart beets, just steamed in their sweet fullness. The Asian spinach came to center stage again recently, with fresh figs and chickpeas in a yummy saute. Another balsamic saute of portobello, rainbow chard, and fresh summer squash was consumed with gusto. But writing this stuff up always seems to get put off! So I have missed Weekend Herb Blogging for two or three weeks in a row, despite my best intentions.

This weekend, though, I really wanted to make an appearance, so here is my very simple steamed carrot dish, a five-minute microwave special! This is the first year that I've grown carrots with any success. The raised beds with 'fluffy' planting mix apparently were the bee's knees, and I got beautiful, stocky Royal Chantenay carrots in abundance. For full disclosure, of course, you see some of the baby ones that got pulled by mistake with the biggies, and a little 'hourglass' carrot that was elbowed rudely by a beet, and thus formed oddly. In a 12-inch raised bed, I could grow Nantes or various other long carrots, and almost certainly will do so later on. There are lovely little ball-shaped carrots that I want to try in my 9-inch self-watering planters, for instance. I had gotten the Royal Chantenay seed as a good carrot for our tough clay soil, as it doesn't have to drill down as far. Since I already had some on hand, I just used that.

If you want a sweet, glazed carrot recipe, this is not it! While sharing some ingredients with one, this recipe brings out the full earthiness of the carrots, and chases it with a snap! of ginger, hence the name. Please note also the little cup behind the casserole dish. I've started setting out a clean cup whenever I prepare veggies. When the prep is done, I add whatever I had to trim off into a plastic bag I'm keeping in the freezer. When I have enough, or feel like it, I'll use these trimmings to simmer down for stock, then strain them out and discard or compost. Of course, if you trim off something because it is sprouted, gone bad, or you find a bug in it, don't save that! :-)

Summer Carrots with a Snap

  • 3 - 4 cups fresh raw carrots, cut into thick wedges
  • Tablespoon of sesame seed
  • Quarter to half teaspoon of ground ginger
  • Teaspoon of honey
  • Water
  • Casserole dish with cover
  • Microwave

Into the casserole dish, put about a fingernail's depth of water. Add the raw carrots, and sprinkle the sesame seeds and ginger on top. Drizzle the honey over the carrots. Cover, and microwave on high for 3 minutes for still-crunchy carrots, and 5 minutes for fork-tender carrots. Note that the 5-minute carrots will lose more of their wonderful orange color, so you might want to try 3 - 4 minutes and see if your eaters are fussy about chewing. :-) I think if I'd used less water, the carrots might have kept more color. Will try that on the next batch.