Miniature carrots and fresh broccoli combine in a roasted vegetable side dish.
#100daysofcooking, Recipes

Day 57: Humble carrot rises to the top


Roasted Carrots and Broccoli


Talk about going down a rabbit hole.

I was looking for information about those cute little mini-carrots, which used to be a staple in the lunches I packed for work each day. But no job equals no packed lunches, which equals no real need to eat the bag of little carrots deteriorating in the fridge.

From a perfectly innocent Google search, I stumbled upon The World Carrot Museum which describes itself as “the first virtual museum in the world entirely devoted to the history, evolution, science, sociology and art of Carrots.”

There is, apparently, a lot to know about carrots.

In addition to the carrot’s history, nutrition and medicinal uses, the museum has devoted space to things like “Carrots in Fine Art.” (Fun fact: the carrot-like vegetable in the painting of The Last Supper is most likely horseradish.) There is a section detailing carrots being made into musical instruments like pan-flutes and accordions.

And, of course, there is a lot of carrots-in-show-business trivia including tidbits featuring Scarlett O’Hara, the giant attack carrot on Lost in Space, and Bugs Bunny.

Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in the 1934 classic It Happened One Night. Photo: sundaymovies.net
Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in the 1934 classic It Happened One Night. Photo: sundaymovies.net

Here is another fun fact: Bugs was modelled after the nervous, fast-talking, carrot-eating character portrayed by Clark Gable in the 1934 movie It Happened One Night. I found the pertinent scene on YouTube, and now I’m looking forward to watching the whole movie. (Another rabbit hole: This was the first film in history to win all the main Academy awards — Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Screenplay.)

What I was really hunting for, of course, was information on baby carrots  and the World Carrot Museum has it in spades.

There are true baby carrots which are harvested when tiny. And there are manufactured ones which are what most of us buy in the little bags.

There was an interesting description about the controversial chlorine wash used by some manufacturers. And there was some good info on what to do when carrots have gone “slimy.” To wit: Throw them out, as they can be a cause of food poisoning.

That would give a whole different meaning to “What’s up, Doc?’

We paired our carrots with broccoli and garlic, roasted them in the oven and topped them with cheese. Pretty good way to eat your veggies.

We think even Bugs would agree.

Kitchen Castoff Used

Mini carrots heading past their prime

Miniature carrots and fresh broccoli combine in a roasted vegetable side dish.
Miniature carrots and fresh broccoli combine in a roasted vegetable side dish.

This is how we did it

Despite Bugs’ rhapsody about the divine carrot, there wasn’t anything too magical about making this dish. We glanced at a couple of basic recipes, including this one from Williams-Sonoma, but it is mainly a straightforward platter of roasted vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • small bag of miniature carrots, or 2 full-size carrots, sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 grated parmesan or other cheese (we used mozzarella)

Method:

I blanched the carrots and the broccoli in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, to slightly reduce the cooking time in the oven. Drain thoroughly and let cool.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a baking dish or baking sheet, toss the carrots and broccoli together with the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.

Top with lemon zest and parmesan cheese.


Curious about my “Kitchen Castoffs” concept? Here’s the explainer describing my 100-day project.

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