Summer, bunched carrots are my favourites – sweet and delicate, great for simply munching raw or grated into salads. The first of these to appear in spring come from Spain and have a particularly good flavour.
To cook summer carrots: There’s absolutely no need to peel here – just rinse them under a cold-running tap and cut off the stalks only, just a fraction above the end. This leaves the inside of the carrot intact and, I feel, preserves the flavour. Place them in a steamer, sprinkle with a little salt and steam for about 7 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a skewer but still retaining some firmness and bite. Serve plain, or I like them tossed in butter mixed with some chopped fresh tarragon leaves.
To cook winter carrots: These are available from storage all year round. My favourite way to cook them plainly is to scrape off the skins and cut them into 2 inch (5 cm) chunks, then place them in a saucepan with salt and enough boiling water to barely cover them. Give them about 20 minutes, or until tender but with a little firm bite in the centre, then drain and place them in a food processor and, using the pulse movement, ‘chop’ the carrots quite small, but don’t overdo it or you’ll have a purée.
Quickly return them to the saucepan using a spatula to scrape them back in quickly, add a knob of butter and some freshly milled black pepper, then place them over a gentle heat and stir them around for a couple of minutes to get the heat back in.
1 lb (450 g) of carrots will serve 4.
Ready-cooked chestnuts allow you to make this quck, easy, low-fat soup in no time at all and you'll be well rewarded: the chestnuts add richness and a sweet flavour for a perfect winter soup.
Filled with wintry root veg and a cheesy sauce, with a parmesan pastry, this pie is a real treat! Replace the lard with vegetable fat if making this for vegetarians.
A simple and cheap vegetarian recipe for one that's certainly full of flavour! Adapt it to suit other vegetables if you prefer and serve it with filling and nutritious brown rice.
Lentils and other pulses are invaluable if you need to eat cheaply - not only do they fill you up but they are also an important source of pure protein and less expensive than chicken or meat. This spicy veggie curry is a good example…
Using the best of winter's root vegetables, this hearty soup is packed with nutritional goodness and will make a good lunch or supper for one.