Where have I been? I’ve always thought that carrots are a bright, pretty orange (except for the anemic ones from my own garden – before the gophers eat them)! But now I find that carrots come in an array of colors. In fact, carrots didn’t even start out being orange.
In ancient days, carrots of green, purple, white, yellow and black hues were used medicinally. By the 1100′s purple carrots were cultivated in India, Europe and the Middle East. However, it wasn’t until the 16th century during the rule of Holland’s House of Orange, (yep, it’s true!) that orange carrots (a cross of purple and yellow varieties) were developed as an act of patriotism. Holland became the primary producer of carrots until the orange carrot we recognize today emerged from France in the 1800′s.
Who knew? Carrots come in an array of colors!
Where would we be without carrots? A fabulous source of Vitamin A with great antioxidant properties (more bioavailable when cooked), carrots are crunchy and sweet all by themselves. But they also contribute nicely to stews and soups, salads and even breads and cakes. I think it could be great fun using colorful varieties in side dishes as well as desserts.
We enjoyed ours plain, along with artichokes, as our first course for dinner one evening.
After we had consumed them all, it dawned on me that I should have used them in our favorite carrot casserole. Oh well, that will have to wait until they appear in the produce section again. In the meantime I’d like to share an updated version of our family’s most favorite carrot recipe. Originally called Company Carrots, in the interest of healthier eating, I’ve switched out the saltine crackers and replaced them with toasted pistachios. (Now it’s a gluten free recipe, woo-hoo!)
And it’s still our favorite carrot recipe.
- 6-8 medium carrots, scrubbed or peeled
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 TBS minced white onion
- 1/2 TBS prepared horseradish
- 1/8 cup water reserved from cooked carrots
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped raw pistachios, lightly toasted
- Cook whole carrots in water until just tender, saving 1/8 cup cooking liquid
- Cut carrots lengthwise in strips
- Arrange in 8x8 baking dish or equivalent
- In another container, combine carrot water, mayonnaise, onion, horseradish, salt & pepper.
- Pour sauce evenly over carrots
- Sprinkle with pistachios
- Bake 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Recipe may be doubled, using 9x12 pan
I’ve enjoyed sharing this with:
If you try this recipe, let me know what you think!