With the 4th of April being International Carrot Day, we look at celebrating all things carrot related with a few tasty recipes and fun facts!
- Carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene, fibre, vitamin C and potassium. Beta carotene is important for eyesight, skin health, and normal growth.
- Despite the popular belief that carrots improve night vision – this is in fact a myth!
- Mostly we associate carrots with an orange colour- but they also come in white, yellow and purple!
- Carrots are naturally high in sugar and can add sweetness to dishes. Carrot cake was invented in medieval times when sugar was an expensive commodity and so thrifty bakers used this sweet vegetable as an alternative.
- Over 35 million tons of carrots are produced each year. China is the biggest manufacturer of carrots in the world.
The Culinary Food Group produce a concentrated carrot stock (simply made of carrots and water) which can be added in small quantities to the below recipes to give an extra boost of naturally sweet carrot flavour!
Carrot, Coconut & Cardamom Soup
- 20g rapeseed oil/ butter
- 500g carrots- sliced
- Seeds of 8 cardamom pods (crushed)
- 10g finely chopped ginger
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 800ml veg stock/ light chicken stock
- 150ml coconut milk
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Handful of fresh chopped coriander
Add oil or butter to a medium pot over a medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté without colour until soft and translucent.
Add the sliced carrots, ginger and cardamom and cook for approximately 10 minutes until carrots begin to soften.
Add enough stock to cover the carrots, bring to the boil and turn down to a simmer until the carrots are tender.
Add the coconut milk and salt and pepper to taste.
Blend the soup with a hand blender or food processor until completely smooth, add some remaining stock to adjust the consistency if necessary.
Garnish with chopped coriander and serve.
Roasted Carrot, Blood Orange & Goats cheese Salad
If you can get your hands on some heirloom/ rainbow carrots this will help create a lovely colourful dish!
- 400g heirloom carrots- cut in half lengthways and into large diagonal slices approx. 2-3 inches long
- 4 blood oranges- 2 zested & juiced, 2 segmented
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 large fennel bulb- finely shaved
- 5 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 80g goats’ cheese
- Fresh mint and parsley
- Salt and pepper
Preheat an oven to 200C or 180C fan.
Meanwhile toss the carrots in 1 tbs olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin & coriander seeds and zest of 1 blood orange and roast for approx. 12.-15 minutes until carrots are just tender but still retain a bite. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Whisk together the remaining olive oil, blood orange juice & zest, honey and red wine vinegar.
Combine the roasted carrots, shaved fennel and dressing.
Add the herbs, orange segments and goats’ cheese and serve.