The carrot is a root vegetable with several colors, which are purple, black, red, white, and yellow and orange.
When bunched together and sold at market they are typically referred to as, “rainbow carrots.”
The orange colored carrot though, is more commonly found in the markets.
Close relatives to the carrot are the parsley, coriander (cilantro), fennel, anise, dill and cumin.
Cooking With Carrots
There are so many ways to enjoy a carrot. They are commonly found in cakes, soups, and salads, among others.
Making A Risotto With Fresh Frozen Carrots Among Other Ingredients – Find Recipe HERE
Frozen carrots are already prepared for use. Prepackaged stir-fried vegetables also contain precut carrots ready for cooking.
Making A Prepackaged Stir-Fry With Carrots
But if you use fresh carrots there are a few things you need to do to prepare them for cooking, either on the stove, in the oven, on the barbecue, in a slow cooker and even in the Instant Pot.
It is helpful to know, that one pound of fresh cooked carrots makes four servings.
Wash and Peel
First, you need to wash the carrots thoroughly scrubbing them under cool running water.
Next, trim the stem and root ends. You can choose to either peel them with a vegetable peeler or not.
After washing, trimming and peeling your carrots, dice or cut them into the desired shape according to your recipe.
Always make sure to secure your cutting board and sharpen your knife before cutting or dicing.
Cooking tip: Simply wet a thin cotton towel and wring out as much water as possible. Lay it under your cutting board to create traction between the board and the counter.
- Slice: Cut into slices, 1/4-inch thick
- Dice: Cut uniformly into cubes, small 1/4 inch – medium 1/2 inch – larger 3/4 inch
- Batonnet: Cut into strips, 2-inch long and 1/4-inch thick
- Julienne or Matchstick: Cut into strips, 1 to 2-inch pieces that are 1/8-inch thick
A Chickpea Carrot & Arugula Salad, Using Either The Batonnet or Julienne Style Cut
Try to cut or dice your carrots into uniform sizes, as this will help to cook the carrots evenly and allow for a quicker cooking time.
Boiling Your Carrots
After you have prepared your carrots for use, now it’s time to cook them. How you cook them would be according to the the recipe.
If your recipe calls for boiling, you would place the carrots into a pot with a small amount of boiling salted water.
The time to cook them crisp tender would depend on how they are cut.
- 7 to 9 minutes for sliced or diced up to 3/4-inch
- 4 to 6 minutes for strips
Never boil your carrots past 10 minutes or the will be mush.
Steaming Your Carrots
Steaming carrots on the stove top using a steamer basket is just as fast as boiling carrots, though with less nutrient loss.
Place a steamer basket in a saucepan and add water to just below the bottom of the basket.
Next with the lid on the pot, bring water to boiling. Add 1 pound of prepped carrots to the basket. Cover and reduce heat.
Cook until carrots are crisp-tender or depending on how they’re cut:
- 8 to 10 minutes for 1/4-inch slices or uniformed dices 1/4 to 3/4-inch
- 5 to 7 minutes for 1/4-inch strips
Roasting Your Carrots
Prepare carrots according to recipe or toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and, if recipe requires, other seasonings.
Roast carrots in a 425 degree oven from 10 to 30 minutes depending on how thick the carrots are cut, or until carrots are tender.
Some recipes will require roasting your carrots along with the protein or meat.
Stir-frying Your Carrots
Boil the matchstick cut carrots in a little boiling water with a little salt for about 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, drain the carrots well. Then put the carrots in the wok or skillet and make your stir-fry.
When the carrots are pre-cooked it will not take that long to cook your stir-fry.
Pre-cooking your carrots before adding them to a stir- fry can help to avoid overcooking your stir-fry vegetables and possibly prevent carrots from becoming rubbery as well.
You can also dice your carrots (or use diced frozen) and add them to this:
- Stovetop Dish: Thai Chicken Fried Rice
- Oven Casserole Dish: Curried Chicken With Coconut Rice & Lime Yogurt Sauce
- Instant Pot Dish: Pumpkin Chipotle Chicken Thighs With Vegetables
And if you ever get some of those “rainbow carrots,” try the purple and yellow ones in this Asian Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing.
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