If I were to pick my favorite vegetable it would most definitely be carrots. Good thing too since the name of this website is “carrot gal,” right?
I love to eat them any way they can be prepared – steamed, raw, boiled, roasted, etc. But not ones that come from the freezer isle. Those just taste like rubber to me.
When I was a kid, my mom would make this amazing side dish using shredded carrots. She learned it from her mom who used to make it for her when she was a kid. It’s so simple but oh so good. You take a bunch of carrots, grate them, cover them with water, boil them for 5-10 minutes or until tender, drain them, and add some butter, salt and pepper. Yum!
What my grandma taught my mom is that the grating process produces a ton of extra flavor because it breaks more of the cell walls. It’s similar to using a garlic press for garlic instead of chopping it with a knife. So much more flavor is released with the garlic press because more cell walls are broken or more surface area or something.
So, what you end up with the carrot side dish is a bright, flavorful little mound of goodness. It nourishes your soul. Even more so when it’s made with homegrown carrots.
In case you didn’t know, homegrown carrots taste leaps and bounds better than any carrot from the store. Most people know that homegrown tomatoes taste better than store-bought tomatoes, but I think the difference in carrots is even more apparent. Almost like it’s an entirely different vegetable. Sometimes I cry when I run out of carrots from my garden. They’re that good!
The variety I like to grow is called “Danvers half-long” and they are a blunt type of carrot. And guess what? They are about half as long as a standard carrot and have a rounded end instead of a pointy end..
Speaking of getting them out of the ground, I recently heard an awesome tip. If you push the carrot down slightly, it will break all of the small hair-like-roots that grow out of the sides. Then you pull it up out of the ground. It’s supposed to make the process much easier. Come to think of it, maybe the cone shape of the carrot moves more dirt out of the way when you push it down and loosens the soil all around the carrot. Whatever the mechanics are, I can’t wait to try it.
Soon, soon, my carrots will be ready to pull up soon.
And then I’ll be a-making me some shredded carrots as a side dish for dinner. Mm Mm!