A couple of days ago I bought carrots. There was no particular plan for them, just figured at some point the inspiration would materialize. They looked so beautiful, almost neon orange with big green leafy tops.
No individual carrot looked the same as another, each perfectly unique, which is normally characteristic of non-mass-produced veggies. Typically big veg and fruit growers pump all sorts of artificial nasty things into the food, regulating all sorts of nonsense so that they can have a consistent product. Each tomato the same size and shape, like a cloned army. Consistency is good, but in the end the veggies just end up tasting like water.
Remind you of those out-of-season strawberries perhaps? Huge, white and completely devoid of all flavor. In protest, I shout from the mountain top that all avoid those rounded white-flecked bite-size carrots in a bag like you would the perfume ladies at Macy’s.
So back to the beautiful, orange-y carrots…they turned out to be incredibly sweet, like could-be-dessert-and-i’d-be-perfectly-content kinda sweet. For a vegetable to be this flavorful, it’s best not to mess with it too much. A little lemon, some fresh thyme, and it’ll replace the ice cream you’re saving in the freezer. Promise.
I know what you’re thinking. They’re just carrots. Nobody is going to replace their triple-chocolate cookie dough samosa chunk with a vegetable. And yet, I still pluck them from the bowl like M&Ms and toss them into my mouth at a rate that would make potato chips jealous.
Dare to dream, people.
Sauteed Carrots with Thyme and Lemon Recipe
1 lb small carrots, scrubbed (cut into 3″ chunks if using large carrots)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
black pepper 1 tsp fresh thyme, stemmed and roughly chopped
1 lemon, juiced (1/2 if it’s really juicy)
For the carrots
Put carrots in a saute pan and fill with water just to cover. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to gentle boil and cook until carrots are fork tender, but still resist a bit in the center. Drain carrots.
Put carrots back in pan with the olive oil. Saute on medium-high heat for 5m or so, until carrots caramelize a bit.
Season with a pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper. Add thyme and cook 1m.
Add lemon juice and toss carrots to coat. Continue cooking until lemon juice has evaporated. Serve!