What if Bugs Bunny had been eating Purple Carrots? 

Sides / February 5, 2016

Recently I joined a group of girlfriends for an impromptu gathering. And my assignment was a vegetable side dish a la Camine. Discovering that my host does her best to avoid vegetables, she did reveal that carrots were one of the few she will touch. I’m thinking it might be the only one after speaking with her mother, so I knew I had to do something that made it fun in addition to being tasty and healthy.

Enter Trader Joes and their beautiful, organic tri-colored carrot medley. (Turns out there are 5 colors in the bag: white, yellow, orange, red and purple, but who’s counting? And a little research reveals a 6th color exists, tangerine, in addition to the usual orange. Awesome!)

Plus, just think. If Bugs Bunny had known about all this, he may have upstaged Elmer Fudd to point where our shotgun toting malcontent would have walked off the set, muttering to himself, “Twi-colored cawwots? Dat wascally wabbit has wost his mind!!”

Musings aside, I soon began planning how to make these beauties the belle of the ball. I sauteed them in butter, and then finished them by braising for a few minutes in fresh squeezed orange juice and some fresh rosemary, adding a thickening agent at the end to create a luxurious glaze. —

So, as I write, let’s do a little discovery. (This is the part where I start rambling on like Alton Brown. Food nerds unite! Is all I can say.) The first carrots were eaten more than 1,000 years ago in Afghanistan. And get this, they were originally purple and yellow, with anthocyanins and lutein giving each their colors, respectively. Heirloom, speciality, tri-color; whatever word we use to describe these gem colored beauties, they make for an absolutely beautiful side dish.

Personally, I think we need to shake things up a bit in the side-dish world. I can’t believe anyone would buy those little engineered, pre-peeled, nubby little cylinders called ‘baby carrots in bag’ as a substitute for the curvaceous and poetic shape of a natural carrot. Relegated to being dunked in ranch dip, I believe it’s time to set them free. And us, for that matter!

Check out my easy and fast recipe for Tri-Colored Carrots in a Rosemary Orange Glaze. And don’t forget the Wabbit Stew….oh my.


Tri – Color Carrots in an Orange Rosemary Glaze

Serves 8


Ingredients:

8 cups colored carrots, chopped
¾ C fresh squeezed orange juice
Handful fresh chopped rosemary
3 T butter
Salt and pepper
1 t corn starch


Method:

  • Rinse and peel carrots before chopping. Heat a large sauté pan and add the butter. When melted and bubbling, add the carrots all at once, stirring occasionally until they begin to soften. When they are al dente, add the rosemary, a little at a time,and the salt and pepper to taste.
  • Then add the orange juice and cover, letting the carrots braise for about 5 minutes until soft. I don’t like them mushy, though, so test often for texture desired.Now, add the cornstarch to a little water and stir. Add that to the pan, remove from heat, and stir immediately until juices thicken into a glaze. Serve immediately and garnish with remaining rosemary.


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