Most spring-garden seed catalogues offer at least a half-dozen varieties of delicious looking carrots. This well-known vegetable ranges from long and slender to short and blocky. There are hybrids, heirloom, coreless, extra sweet, smoothly tapered and jumbo. Gardeners are also invited to try a rainbow blend of yellow, red and white carrots that are guaranteed "... to be an exciting mix of color and taste."
Historically, it is known that carrots were eaten by ancient Middle Eastern people and by the 1300s, purple and yellow carrots had spread as far as western Europe and China. For some reason, however, orange became, and still is, the preferred carrot color.
When I was growing up, I did not even like carrots unless they were cooked to death in split pea soup. Their unappealing flavor, however, did help to develop my creative side as I tried various ways to secretly get rid of them. I remember that I did like pulling little carrots out of the ground the one and only year my mother planted a vegetable garden...it was like harvesting hidden treasure.
Today's hybrid carrots are much sweeter than the old standards, (now called heirlooms)...because of this plant science, I can finally enjoy them raw or cooked al dente. Carrots are high in fiber, rich in Vitamin A and are loaded with beta-carotene. They are also one of the vegetables that tastes better if pared before eating. In addition to the health benefits, I just love the deep orange splash of color they give to any dish...carrots are almost like confetti for the plate!
Here is an easy, delicious way to fix them as a side dish. Who knows, it might even appeal to your
1 lb. carrots
1 can chicken broth
1 large sweet onion
1 stick of butter (8 T)
1 lb. carrots, cleaned cut into 3” pieces. Slice pieces lengthwise into fourths and simmer in 1 can chicken broth until tender-crisp.
Slice onion and sauté in butter over low heat until tender. Combine with carrots and broth.
Put 1 T cornstarch in ¼ cup cold water and blend well. Add mixture slowly to carrots and onions. Heat and stir until thickened. Add salt to taste. Serve immediately.
*To make a prettier presentation, cut all carrot ends and pieces on the diagonal.