When's the last time you bought a "real" carrot? Once they started coming in miniature - adult carrots whittled down to look like babies - our kids never saw carrots any other way. The kids ate them raw by the fistfuls, and the idea of actually peeling a carrot and eating it as anything except a snack was out of the question.
Now that our kids are away at college, we've found ourselves ready to explore "real" carrots again. You can buy carrots whole in plastic bags, but the ones we see usually look tired. So we've started buying them in bunches with the green tops still attached. This ensures a fresher veggie that's still packed with flavor.
The next step in our carrot evolution was to eat them cooked - as a side dish - after years of raw only. Cooked carrots are easy, delicious, and equally perfect with chicken, pork, or fish. Today's recipe for Gingered Carrots is a simple saute with minced ginger, but you could use garlic, onions, and other herbs to taste.
Next time you're at the store, check the produce section for "real" carrots and rediscover a classic.
6 "bunch" carrots (see Cook's note)
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon minced ginger (see Cook's note)
Cook's note: Bunch carrots (the kind with the green tops still attached) are sweeter and more tender than the very large bagged whole carrots or "baby" carrots.
Either minced fresh ginger or jarred minced ginger (found in the produce section) can be used.
If your skillet doesn't have a lid, use the lid from another large pot.
Start to finish: 10 minutes
Trim and peel carrots. Cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Cut any pieces larger than 1/2 inch wide in half. Heat oil and butter in a medium skillet that has a lid (see Cook's note) over medium heat. Add carrots and ginger and toss well. Cover skillet and cook 2 minutes. Uncover and continue to toss until carrots are crisp-tender and lightly browned, about 3 more minutes. (Test carrots with the tip of a sharp paring knife for doneness.) Serve at once.
Yield: 4 servings
Approximate values per serving: 57 calories (35 percent from fat), 2 g fat (1 g saturated), 2.5 mg cholesterol, 1 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 2.5 g dietary fiber, 70 mg sodium