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TIP OF THE DAY: Roasted Whole Carrots

roasted-whole-rainbow-carrots-ohmyveggies-colorfulharvestFB-230r
Rainbow carrot colors, including the
now-standard orange, were bred centuries
and millennia ago from mutations. Photo
courtesy Colorful Harvest | FB.

  Why carrots, you may ask, when such summer bounty abounds? And with all the vegetables to throw onto the grill, how often do you think of carrots?

Grilling carrots brings out their natural sweetness; the grill contributes a mellow smokey flavor. These grilled rainbow carrots are perfect drizzled with the basil vinaigrette or served with the vinaigrette on the side for dipping.

And, you can add leftovers to simple green salads for a splash of color and flavor.

You’re looking for rainbow carrots, that transform the ordinary root veg into something quite spectacular. If you can’t find rainbow carrots (in a specialty produce store or farmers market), simply substitute standard orange carrots. You can also find rainbow baby carrots.

THE ORIGINAL CARROTS WERE WHITE!

That’s right: The iconic orange carrot began life as a wild white carrots, similar to parsnips*. With natural mutations, purple and yellow carrots were cultivated more than 1,000 years ago in what is now Afghanistan.

Other colors are the product of generations of traditional plant breeding. Orange carrots were first successfully bred in Holland from an orange mutation by Dutch farmers. Here’s more history of carrots, plus an explanation of how the different hues of carrots get their colors.

 

Try this recipe for Grilled Rainbow Carrots with Basil Vinaigrette: an eye- and palate-pleaser. It’s from In Sonnet’s Kitchen. Prep time is 5 minutes, cook time 10 minutes.

As a variation from the vinaigrette, you can use pesto or a honey glaze.
 
RECIPE: GRILLED RAINBOW CARROTS WITH BASIL VINAIGRETTE

Ingredients For 4-6 Servings

  • 2 bunches rainbow carrots
  • 1 tablespoon safflower oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup basil leaves
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish: snipped herb such as chervil, parsley, rosemary, tarragon or thyme
  •  

    Preparation

    This dish can be served warm or at room temperature. The carrots can also be sliced into smaller pieces before serving.

    1. PREHEAT grill to medium-high. Trim carrot tops as desired and slice carrots in half lengthwise (this decreases cooking time).

    2. TOSS carrots with oil (or oil the grill as needed) and grill for 4-5 minutes, until the carrots develop sear marks and are beginning to soften. Flip, cover and grill for another 4-5 minutes. Carrots should be softened, but still retain their crunch. Meanwhile…

    3. BLEND the vinegar, basil and olive oil into a vinaigrette. Season to taste. Serve drizzled over the carrots or on the side for dipping.

    4. GARNISH with herbs and serve.

     
    *Carrots (Daucus carota) and parsnips (Pastinaca sativa) are both members of the Apiaceae family, which includes caraway, celery, chervil, dill and fennel.

      roasted-carrots-kristin-theendlessmeal-colorfulharvestFB-230
    Yellow carrots were bred from a mutation of the original white carrots. Here, they’re served with pesto. Photo courtesy The Endless Meal.
     
      




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