Cupboard staples and how to use them: Carrots
Carrots are one of those vegetables that are on hand all year round – suitable for every season, whether grated in a fresh summer salad or simmering in a hearty stew. But such a familiar ingredient can be easily taken for granted, relegated to the side of the plate or fobbed off as one of your five a day. Though they may not actually help you see in the dark as your mum used to insist, carrots can lift your culinary repertoire to new levels. Here are some recipes that give the humble vegetable the attention it deserves.
Once Upon a Chef’s French Grated Carrot Salad
When the sun is shining, it’s a great time to whip up something quick and refreshing. Once Upon a Chef’s French grated carrot salad will show you how to dress up raw carrots with class for a deliciously crisp and hassle-free dish. If you didn’t know how to make a classic French vinaigrette, this bistro staple will soon get you up to speed.
Cooking Foodie’s Baked Carrot Fries
If you like sweet potato fries, you’ll be pleased to know there’s an even easier and healthier alternative. Cooking Foodie’s baked carrot fries won’t require a fryer and you can make up the seasoning with any spices you have in your cupboard. Roasted carrots are a great replacement for the standard boiled and buttered variety.
BBC Good Food’s Veggie Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Mash
Cooking for both meat-eaters and vegetarians can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, but BBC Good Food’s veggie shepherd’s pie is arguably even better than the original. The recipe subs normal mash for sweet potato mash, which perfectly offsets the flavoursome lentil and carrot filling. Be sure to cook enough, as even the committed carnivores at the table might be converted.
Carrot and Ginger Soup from Hebbar’s Kitchen
When it comes to soup, carrot tends to go hand in hand with coriander. But seeing as such a large proportion of the population are genetically programmed to hate this herb, we thought we’d offer an alternative. This carrot and ginger soup recipe from Hebbar’s Kitchen adds an extra bit of warmth on a winter’s day, or could just as easily be served up as a light lunch.
Yotam Ottolenghi’s Smashed Carrots and Coriander-Pistachio Pesto, Lime Yogurt and Pickled Onions
Instead of steaming your carrots, you could try roasting and mashing them to bring out the flavour. Yotam Ottolenghi creates a light and colourful dish by adding fresh herbs and creamy yoghurt, cut through with zingy pickled onions.
A Happy Foodie’s Roasted Carrot Humous
Save yourself a trip to the shops by blending up The Happy Foodie’s homemade roasted carrot humous from these simple store cupboard ingredients. Carrots give this version a natural sweetness, and it’s a great addition to any lunchbox, as a filling in any burger or wrap, or, of course, as a classic dip.
Sabrina Ghayour’s Carrot, Halloumi and Dill Balls
If you thought halloumi couldn’t get any better, we have a dish that could change your mind. Sabrina Ghayour’s carrot, halloumi and dill balls are an indulgent cheesy treat perfect for any party. These crispy canapes may just challenge the mighty falafel – or at the very least, proudly sit alongside them at any Middle-Eastern feast.
Nigella’s Ginger and Walnut Carrot Cake
We couldn’t mention the carrot without paying homage to one of the nation’s favourite bakes. Though there are hundreds of versions of carrot cake to be found online, Nigella Lawson’s ginger and walnut interpretation is an easy winner. This generously spiced upgrade is like all your favourite cakes rolled into one, decadent and unbelievably moist.