I had the massive pleasure of heading back to Linwood and Snowshoe last weekend and was able to check out our high tunnel, community garden and the Pocahontas County Farmers Market while I was there. I spent a good long while munching Pareso tomatoes, which to me are everything a tomato should be: meaty and full of tomato flavor. All of the big tomatoes that I have tried lately pale in comparison flavor-wise. I am already missing that flavor and know that I really need to pursue growing my own no matter how difficult it may be! Lucky for me I was taught by the best in the business (thanks Grow Appalachia) so certainly know HOW to grow tomatoes, even when they require a mixture of tunnels, greenhouses AND shade cloth!
This post is not about tomatoes though! It’s about carrots and how to make them delicious. I personally think that they are delicious straight out of the garden and covered in dirt, and I suspect the kids from the Linwood Community Daycare (pictured above) do too! The best thing about carrots is how versatile they are – soups, cooked many different ways, raw in grated salads…they are just delicious and so good for you. They are an excellent source of Vitamin A, several B vitamins, Vitamin K and Potassium, and they are great fiber (carrot stats pulled from healthline.com).
I love this recipe because it uses the carrot tops to add more flavor.
Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Gremolata
3 bunches small carrots with tops (2 pounds), scrubbed and tops reserved
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 jalapeño pepper, minced
Step 2: Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cilantro, lemon zest and jalapeño. Finely chop the carrot tops until you have 1/2 cup and add to the bowl.
Easy peasy and so delicious! Recipe credit goes to foodandwine.com (which has many others as well and I urge you to check it out!).
I don’t feel like I can leave this post without at least 1 option for carrot soup, one of my favorite things on this planet. If you haven’t tried carrot soup, you owe it to yourself to do so, especially while you can still get carrots at the market! Recipe cred goes to loveandlemons.com:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onions
3 garlic cloves, smashed
2 heaping cups chopped carrots
1½ teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or freshly squeezed orange juice
3 to 4 cups vegetable broth
Sea salt and fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon maple syrup, or to taste (optional)
coconut milk for garnish (optional)
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add the smashed garlic cloves (they’ll get blended later) and chopped carrots to the pot and cook about 8 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
2. Stir in the ginger, then add the apple cider vinegar, and then add 3 to 4 cups of broth, depending on your desired consistency. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the carrots are soft, about 30 minutes.
3. Let cool slightly and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add maple syrup, if desired.
4. Garnish with a drizzle of coconut milk, if desired.
Hopefully this post gets your taste buds fired up and makes you as excited about carrots as I am. I just returned from my trip and am going to go find some farm-fresh carrots tomorrow so that I can make some soup and some other stuff! I feel completely inspired by the photo at the top!