February 03, 2010

18 Carrot Crunch

I'm suspicious of bagged vegetables. Especially bagged vegetables that are uniformly perfect in size shape and colour. The disillusionment began when I discovered that bagged baby carrots – so cute! so convenient! were actually big old misshapen carrots that had been cut down to size. Although an easy snack, they are strangely flavourless, tasting more waterlogged than super-charged with beta carotene goodness.

That’s why I love Vicki’s Veggies. The vegetables are gorgeously ugly - just as nature intended them to be. More importantly, they’re fantastically sweet. I can’t resist buying them by the bagful at the farmers’ market on Saturday mornings, especially since Vicki herself is so passionate about every single thing she sells. The problem is I can’t consume everything as quickly as I’d like, particularly when flying solo.

Enter my magnificent Liebherr fridge. With an amazing Bio-Fresh drawer, my produce stays fresher way longer. Long enough for me to rescue a bag of Vicki’s real baby carrots just in time.

Crunchy never tasted so good.

Glazed Baby Carrots
serves two generously

1 lb baby carrots, washed with a soft brush, and trimmed
2 tbsp rendered duck fat
1 large shallot, finely chopped
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Madeira

1. Heat the duck fat over medium-low heat in a heavy pot.  Add the shallots and cook until softened but not brown, about five minutes.

2.  Add the carrots, cover and simmer for ten minutes without removing lid.  After 10 minutes, stir, sprinkle with salt and cook a further five minutes uncovered, or until the largest baby carrots are beginning to soften, but are still firm.

3.  Add the Madeira and cook a further two minutes, or until the wine is mostly evaporated and has formed a glossy glaze over the carrots.  Taste, adjust salt and serve.

Serve as a side dish to any roasted meat, or on their own.