I love carrots, raw, roasted, boiled, mashed, you name it! They add great colour, flavour and texture to a plate and they can be used in so many ways. I like to write about seasonal ingredients but Chantenay Carrots are a little different, they are grown in the UK and available through out the year. This is because they are harvested in different areas of the country at different times to ensure that all Chantenay are harvested fresh to capture the very best of their flavour and provenance. Chantenay are stored in the ground in the autumn and winter under straw to protect from winter frosts and to retain the freshness of the vegetable.
They are really easy to cook and the family love them. Children take great pleasure in having some whole baby carrots on their plate and the sweet fresh flavour helps them enjoy eating their veg. I normally cook them by cleaning them under the tap, topping and tailing them and then put the in a pan of boiling water for 10 minutes or until they get to the texture you want. You can add a little butter and a bay leaf to add extra flavour. Another option is to leave the bay leaf out but add a very small pinch of cumin. For some reason a very small pinch of cumin can amplify the flavour of carrots but don’t be too heavy handed, add too much and all you’ll taste is cumin.
Here’s a great way to use Chantenay Carrots in a salad recipe developed by Rachel Green – Yorkshire TV’s Flying Cook.
Chicken and Chantenay Carrot Bang Bang Salad
Serves 2 as a main course and 4 as a starter
For the dressing:
· 2 tbsp smooth or crunchy peanut butter
· 2 tbsp rapeseed or vegetable oil
· 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
· 3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
· Juice of 1 lemon
· A good dash of light soy sauce
For the salad:
· 100g dried vermicelli rice noodles, pre-soaked and drained
· ½ cucumber, cut into long shreds using a potato peeler
· 250g cooked chicken breast shredded (no skin)
· 2 spring onions, trimmed and cut into long shreds
· 150g sliced Chantenay carrot slices
· A handful of coriander, chopped
· Toasted sesame seeds to garnish (optional)
For the dressing; place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix together, if the mixture is a little thick add a little warm water. Then place the bowl over a pan of boiling water until it warms to a spoon-able consistency.
For the salad; place all of the ingredients into another bowl, pour the dressing over the salad and toss slightly to combine.
Place on serving plates and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
Poach the chicken in chicken stock for about 20 minutes until cooked through or use leftover chicken from a roast bird.
You’ll find more recipe ideas like this on the Chanteney Carrots website.
If you have any great ideas for ways to serve British Chantenay Carrots we’d love to hear from you and we’ll publish any ideas we like on the blog. Likewise we love supporting British farmers by writing about fantastic seasonal produce. If you’ve got suggestions for seasonal products we should write about do please get in touch.