Healthy, Versatile Carrot Recipes
Carrots grow in North Carolina almost year round, often ready before the first day of spring and available through the end of May, with a second season from mid-August through November.
This nutrient-rich root vegetable can be eaten raw atop salads or dipped into hummus. They can be cooked in a bit of water with butter, sugar and salt. Chopped, shredded, mashed and julienned, they are quite cooperative. They are not fragile or temperamental. They don’t mind being left out on a kitchen counter or in the produce drawer. They will wait until you’re ready for them. They are like the best kind of good, old friend – patient, open to change and easy to love.
I once sautéed carrots with some chopped onion when a friend joined us for dinner. He blurted out, “I don’t like carrots!” My usually polite and reserved guest had a knee-jerk reaction to a long life of poorly prepared carrots. It was the only vegetable planned for our dinner that night, and he decided to take a bite. Then another. “Well, I never used to like carrots. These are delicious!” Like so many things, we don’t think we like them until we experience them in a new way.
Carrots come in so many beautiful colors, and mixed packages are easier to find now than they were in recent past. Farmers markets are also jumping on the rainbow bandwagon. Multicolored carrots taste the same as orange carrots, but they add beauty to our plates. Roasted Rainbow Carrots and Leeks, highlighting another springtime vegetable, are a sweet addition to any meal.