Tuesday, August 01, 2006

More About Carrots

I had to make just one more carrot photo. I have been getting these crunchy juicy carrots from Muddy River Farm, at Union Square on Fridays. The purple ones are the crispest, the yellow ones are sweetest this week, and the orange guys have the fullest, deepest flavor. According to this article at the USDA, differently colored carrots supply different antioxidants (hiya, Sweetnicks!), alpha and beta carotene for orange, xanthophylis for yellow, lycopene for red, and anthocyanin for purple. That can’t be bad, and they are so pretty.

The subject of carrots brings me to the subject of my entire relationship with food, which necessarily begins with my venerable parents. What you need to know is that whenever my venerable mother gave my venerable father a carrot, a favorite snack by the senior Chocolates, he would always say “A triumph of the carrot-peeler’s art!” and he always meant it. Before I was big enough to hold a carrot peeler in my hand I understood that the arts of peeling and appreciating carrots were of earth-enveloping import.

An expertly-peeled raw carrot is a thing of great beauty, but I also cook carrots, even in this sweltering weather. I tried this recipe of Viana La Place’s from Verdura for the first time this week. It was delicious and great fun to make, and the carrots look so civilized in their mason jar. The recipe below differs from La Place’s Antipasto di Carote Piccanti in that I used cilantro instead of celery, and a combination of apple cider vinegar and white wine vinegar because I didn’t have enough white wine vinegar to cover all the carrots.

Marinated Carrots

(Adapted from Verdura by Viana La Place)

1 ½ pounds carrots (I used ¾ pounds each orange and yellow carrots)

3 cloves garlic

2 chile pods

½ bunch cilantro ( generous 1/2 cup chopped leaves)

1 leaf Cuban oregano (or 1 pinch dried oregano)


White wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar

Olive oil

Wash and peel the carrots, and cut them into little batons. Cook them for just about five minutes in lavishly salted boiling water. Place them in a mason jar with the garlic, chiles, and herbs. While they are still warm, pour on enough vinegar to cover and add a bit of salt. Refrigerate overnight. Drizzle with olive oil to serve.

Today is a very special day In Mol Araan. I hope to tell you all about it soon, and what I did with the rest of that cilantro.

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Blogger zp said...

there is a pizza place here that serves marinated carrots. i'd never had them before but they are very nice, and i'm tempted to make my own.

i can't eat raw carrots. my throat closes a little and all the chewed carrot bits go to my nose. this is sad because cooked carrots are often less satisfying.

when i was in high school i had a good friend whose family ate a lot of raw carrots and they sang "there is nothing in this world like a carrot."

despite the fact that they sang it rather tunelessly it always gets stuck in my head.

8:31 AM  
Anonymous sher said...

Ah!! Thanks for that. I love the marinated carrots served in Mexican restaurants around here. This recipe looks like it might produce some mighty tasty carrots, and if they were in different colors, it would be very pretty.

4:13 AM  
Blogger the chocolate lady said...

I have occasionally had the difficulty you describe with carrots; it is most unpleasant, and I am not sure why it sometimes happens. I find that if you shave thin strips of raw carrot into salads with a vegetable peeler, you can enjoy them without discomfort.
I did not know about Mexican marinated carrots.

8:25 PM  

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