Happy Boy Produce

SEASON: Year-round

Carrots

The Best

Posted by Tent

At Happy boy, we have our rock stars - the wildly popular seasonal crops like melons and heirloom tomatoes - as well as our unique specialty produce like edible flowers and padron peppers. And then we have our few staple crops, always delicious and top quality, but veggies pretty widely grown and eaten in the area and not quite exciting enough to incite long-lines out the stand. Carrots, to me, always fell into this third category. Even working for Happy Boy I took them for granted, gladly munching on them in the stand from time to time or occasionally throwing them into my salads, but never giving them much thought.

Since we can grow carrots pretty much year round, they are available at the stand rather consistently, minus the gaps that occur when we've sold all the harvested plants and the next planting out in the fields aren't quite ready. It took one of these especially long gaps to change my mind about carrots - in this case, absence not only made the heart grow fonder, but made me realize what many Happy Boy Carrot Enthusiasts have known for years. These little roots pack a flavor and crunch that is not only unmatched by other carrots out there, but pretty worthy of screaming hysterically over.

After having this epiphany mid-carrot drought, when they did finally return I celebrated appropriately - by eating a truck-load of them. As I scarfed down each carrot, I contemplated their unique qualities: tender yet satisfyingly crunchy, sweetly flavored yet still complex and young enough that they didn't need to be peeled. I ate them raw, I chopped, grated, sliced and diced them, I sauteed them, juiced them, pickled them, added them to soups and even roasted them. The once-commonplace carrot is now more of a culinary adventure and an especially welcome sweet treat during the winter.

Storage

Choose crisp carrots with healthy looking tops. Carrots should be kept in the fridge,  without their tops, in a container or re-used plastic bag to keep them moist, and will last more than a wee

Nutrition

Carrots are veggies highest in beta-carotene - it's also what makes them orange - and will make your skin slightly orange if you eat enough. They also contain high levels of healthy anti-oxidants.

Recipes and Pairings

    2 Total Recipes

Once banished to pre-packed cole-slaw and deli platters, carrots are reclaiming their place as culinary heavy hitters. Carrots work well in all types of salads, especially in our baby mixd green - either diced or shredded. My housemates have recently been soaking shredded carrot in rice vinegar for a quick pickle to add to sandwiches or together with watermelon radishes. Roasting with a little honey or brown sugar enhances their sweet flavors, or go savory with some thyme & oregano, sage or even chives and cream. They work well with turnips and potatoes, and pairing them with ginger is to die for in savory-sweet soups. And, yes, they do still taste great raw or with a creamy buttermilk ranch