Seasonal local food recipe No.216 – Carrot halva


This a favourite dessert from celebrated Indian cook Madhur Jaffrey.  It’s a little time-consuming to make but so much nicer than bought Indian sweets.

Serves 4-6

Preparation time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 60-90 minutes

450g grated carrots
700ml milk
8 whole green cardamom pods
5 tbs vegetable oil or ghee
5 tbs caster sugar
1-2 tbs sultanas
1 tbs shelled unsalted pistachios, lightly crushed

Put the grated carrots, milk and cardamom pods into a heavy-bottomed pan and bring to the boil.  Turn the heat down to low and cook, stirring now and then, until there is no liquid left.  Heat the oil or ghee in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat.  When hot add the carrot mixture, stir and fry until the carrots no longer have a rich, reddish colour.  This can take 10-15 minutes.  Add the sugar, sultanas and pistachios, stir and fry for another two minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature.  It’s good served with whipped or clotted cream.

Seasonal local food recipe No.215 – Country-style hot-pot

A hearty casserole to warm you up when you come in out of the wind and rain!  It’s my adaptation from Sarah Brown’s Vegetarian Kitchen using vacuum packed chestnuts instead of dried chestnuts and is a meal in a pot if you serve it with the cheese nuggets.

Serves 2-4

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes

200g vacuum packed chestnuts
250g whole pickling onions or shallots
250g carrots, peeled and sliced into 1cm rings
250g sprouts, peeled
125g button mushrooms, cleaned
1 tbs oil
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1 tbs soy sauce
freshly chopped parsley
salt and pepper

for the cheese nuggets (optional)
50 fresh breadcrumbs
50g grated cheese
1 egg
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp paprika

Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole or large pan and gently fry the onions for a few minutes, add the carrots and mustard powder and continue frying for a few minutes.  Add the soy sauce, the chestnuts and 500ml of water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.

While this is cooking make the cheese nuggets.  Mix together the breadcrumbs and grated cheese.  Beat the egg and mix with the salt, mustard and paprika then mix this into the breadcrumbs and cheese.  Form the mixture into small balls the size of walnuts.

After the hot-pot has cooked for 20 minutes add the sprouts, mushrooms, parsley and cheese nuggets (if using).  Season to taste and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes until the cheese nuggets are cooked and the sprouts are tender.  Serve staight away.

This casserole will go further if you serve it with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable.

Seasonal local food recipe No.209 – Christmas roasted vegetables with honey and spice

This dead-simple combination of winter vegetables works well with turkey or ham. There’s time to cook it while the turkey rests. The recipe is part of the Season’s Eatings (groan!) mini-series from John Lewis.

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

1 mini squash
4 carrots
4 parsnips
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp honey
3cm ginger root, grated
large pinch of allspice

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Scrub the carrots and parsnips (don’t peel) and cut lengthways into evenly sized chunks. Peel the squash and cut into thick slices, removing the seeds. Place the vegetables in a roasting tray with the garlic cloves. Drizzle with the olive oil and stir well so the vegetables are coated. There should be enough space for them to sit in a single layer or they will steam instead of roasting.

Roast the vegetables in the oven for about 30 minutes until tender. Meanwhile combine the honey, ginger and allspice. Ten minutes before the end of cooking remove the veg from the oven and pour over the glaze. Return to the oven until sticky and caramelised.

Seasonal local recipe No.206 – Root vegetable tangle

This is from Nigel Slater’s new Eat: The Little Book of Fast Food

Serves: 2 (light main course) or 4 (side dish)

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

potatoes, parsnip, carrots, onion, rosemary, pumpkin seeds, olive oil

Set the oven at 200C/gas mark 6. Shave 250g potatoes, a large parsnip and 2 large carrots with a vegetable peeler. Peel and finely slice an onion into rings.

Toss the potatoes, parsnips, carrots and onion in a large mixing bowl with a heaped tablespoon of rosemary leaves, 5 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds, then tip on to a baking sheet. Spread out into a shallow layer. Bake for 20 minutes, till tender and lightly crisp on the edges.

parsnips-camel csa

Seasonal local food recipe No.203 – Hugh’s carrots with almonds and cumin

This simple and delicious dish from seasonal food campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a perfect way to serve the tender, flavoursome carrots in Camel CSA’s veg boxes this week.

Hugh says: “Very good with fish or chicken, and I love it with hummus and flatbread, in which case I often add some segments of orange and a squeeze of orange juice.”

Serves: 6
Preparation/cooking time: 15-20 minutes

500g carrots, peeled and sliced about 4mm thick on the diagonal
100g whole, blanched almonds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, add the carrots, cook for five minutes, until tender, then drain.

Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Toast the almonds, tossing frequently, until golden all over. Transfer to a mortar. Toast the cumin in the same pan for a few minutes until fragrant, add to the almonds, then lightly bash.

Put the still-warm carrots in a bowl, add the nuts, seeds and oil, season, toss and serve.

Seasonal local food recipe No.183: Honey-glazed carrots or swede

This easy side dish brings out the sweetness of carrots or swede. It’s from BBC GoodFood’s Olive magazine. You need to cut larger carrots and swede into long, thick batons. Use new-season, thinner carrots whole.

Serves: 4
Preparation / cooking time: 25 minutes

400g carrots, scrubbed or peeled (cut into long, thick batons if necessary)
Or 400g swede, peeled and cut into long, thick batons
1 tbsp honey
15g butter

Simmer the carrots or swede in a large wide pan until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain off all but a few tbsp of the cooking water then add the honey and butter and season well. Turn the carrots or swede over the heat until glazed and golden.

Seasonal local food recipe No 177: Spicy Moroccan carrot salad

Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe incorporates sweet spices, fresh herbs and a lemony kick. Serve with other Middle Eastern salads, or just to accompany fried fish. You could serve it warm as well as cold, with a pilaf.

Serves 4

Preparation and cooking 30 mins + cooling time

1kg carrots
80ml olive oil, plus extra to finish
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp caster sugar
3 garlic cloves crushed
2 medium green chillies, finely chopped
1 spring onion, finely chopped
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp chopped preserved lemon skin
40g chopped coriander, plus extra to garnish
120ml Greek yoghurt, chilled

Peel the carrots and cut them, depending on their size, into cylinders or semi-circles 1cm thick; all the pieces should end up roughly the same size. Place in a large saucepan and cover with salted water. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until tender but still crunchy. Drain and leave to dry out.

Heat the oil in a large pan and saute the onion for 12 minutes on a medium heat until soft and slightly brown. Add the cooked carrots to the onions, followed by all the remaining ingredients, apart from the fresh coriander and the yoghurt. Remove from the heat. Season liberally with salt, stir well and leave to cool.

Before serving, stir in the coriander, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve in individual bowls with a dollop of yoghurt, a drizzle of oil and garnished with the extra coriander.

Seasonal local food recipe No.150: Jamie’s best whole-baked baby carrots

We have REAL baby carrots in this week’s veg boxes – not the baby-cut carrots that are heavily marketed in supermarkets as a healthy alternative to junk food.

Real baby carrots are delectable eaten raw or lightly steamed. They are also delicious roasted, in this simple recipe from Jamie Oliver. He says: “By cooking them first covered by tinfoil, they steam and exchange flavours with the herbs and garlic. Then when you remove the foil they start to roast and sweeten.”

Serves: 4

Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 40-50 minutes

750g/1lb 10oz young bunched carrots, different colours if possible, washed and scrubbed
olive oil
herb or red wine vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
3 cloves of garlic, crushed

Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Toss your carrots with a good glug of olive oil, a splash of vinegar, salt and pepper, the thyme sprigs and the garlic cloves.

Place in a roasting tray or earthenware dish, cover tightly with tinfoil and cook for 30 to 40 minutes until just tender. Remove the foil and cook for a further 10 minutes until the carrots have browned and caramelized nicely.

Baby carrots with lemon and thyme
Summer carrots, herb sauce

Seasonal local food recipe No. 131: Carrot, cannellini bean and coriander soup

We’ve still got loads of organically-grown carrots to dig up on our community vegetable patch.

But this is positively the last soup recipe for a while (promise). It’s from the vegetarian cookery queen Rose Elliot.

This one’s a real winter warmer – filling as well as very satisfying. Rose says: “The beans help thicken the soup, so making it creamy and extra nourishing.”

Serves 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
500g carrots, sliced
425g can cannellini beans, drained
1.3 litres water or vegetable stock
4 tbsp chopped coriander
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion and garlic, covered, for five minutes. Add the carrots, beans and water or stock. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Purée in a food processor or blender. Add the coriander and lemon juice and season to taste.

Try some more delicious carrot soup recipes from Camel CSA
Potage Crecy
Carrot and ginger soup
Carrot and parsnip soup

Seasonal local food recipe No.129: Potage Crecy


No apologies for another soup recipe – made with organically-grown carrots in Camel CSA’s veg boxes.

Potage Crecy is a classic French soup which, characteristically, is thickened with rice. I always use arborio (risotto) rice, as I think it enhances the texture. The thyme is most important to the flavour and it tastes even better if made with homemade chicken stock.

This recipe is adapted from two versions by Jane Grigson in her Good Food and her Vegetable Book.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

60g butter
1 medium onion, chopped
500g carrots, sliced
1 heaped tablespoon rice
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
Sprig of fresh thyme
Salt, pepper, chopped parsley

Soften the onion in the butter over a low heat so the onion doesn’t colour.  Add the carrots, put a lid on the pan and let the contents sweat for 5 minutes or so. Stir in the rice and allow it to absorb the juices.

Pour in the stock, add the thyme and cook gently for about 20 minutes. Remove the thyme stalk and liquidise the soup. Check the seasoning and sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

More carrot recipes from Camel CSA

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