21/07/2012 10:16

The humble carrot is the hero in many kitchens. With its distinctive colour and sweet crunch, its one of the most versatile vegetables around. Carrots taste great raw or cooked. Carrots can be used as an accompanying vegetable, grated raw in salads, used in a yummy carrot cake, or added to stews or soups.

Although carrots are available throughout the year, locally grown carrots are in season in the summer and fall when they are the freshest and most flavourful.

Dwarf carrots are especially tender, the small Chantenay carrots have a particularly sweet flavour and Baby carrots are young tender carrots with a subtle, sweet flavour. Just scrub them well, top and tail, and cook them whole. Carrots can also be purchased with the tops on these are refered to as "bunched carrots". Bunched carrots just need to be scrubbed, their pretty green tops can be left on during cooking to provide an attractive garnish. Other varieties of carrots are usually topped and tailed, then peeled. Slice them into rounds, dice or cut into matchsticks before cooking.

While we usually associate carrots with the colour orange, carrots can actually be found in a host of other colours including white, yellow, red, or purple. In fact, purple, yellow and red carrots were the only colour varieties of carrots to be cultivated before the 15th or 16th century.

Carrots varieties include short, medium and long-rooted types. The short-rooted carrots can be suitable for growing in containers or deep window boxes.

Check out this carrot museum you'll find all sorts of fascinating things about carrots.

A couple of  lovely soups..
Spiced Carrot & Lentil soup
Carrot & Ginger