Kale, schmale. There’s a new vegetable star featured at a restaurant or on a menu near you. It’s familiar, accessible, and inexpensive. It can be sweet or savory. Time to head to the farmers market or grocer and pick up a bunch of carrots. Yes, that’s right – carrots. And we don’t mean the canned, over-cooked type. We’re talking fresh, in a bunch, the kind that Bugs would pick.
Some beautiful attributes about the carrot is its seemingly unlimited preparation possibilities and that it’s saturated color changes with each preparation. Carrots can be served raw, roasted, spiralized, poached, braised, juiced, frozen and probably a few more. Of course, we love it baked into a moist, sweet, spiced carrot cake topped with a cream cheese frosting but we digress. We want to focus on what’s new with the carrot and the creative ways we are seeing it being exalted and seasoned.
Chefs all over the country are embracing the carrot like never before. Take for instance the Carrot Glazed Carrot at Chef Marc Forgione’s American Cut in Tribeca. A single carrot roasted in its own juices topped with fresh mint and Maldon sea salt becomes a celebration of the vegetable and a perfect partner to a great steak. It certainly doesn’t get any more carrot than that. Or there’s the mouthwatering roasted carrot pizza at New Orleans’ Domenica. Carrots are roasted to bring out their legendary sweetness and combined with mascarpone to create a wonderfully unexpected sauce for a wood-fired pizza. Once topped with beets, Brussels sprouts, toasted hazelnuts and mint, you have a pizza that gives new meaning to eating your vegetables.
And we can’t leave out what’s going on with carrots behind the bar – but not the juice bar. Carrots have been fermented into cocktails like at Noma in Copenhagen or the Carrot Top cocktail at the City of London Distillery created by Nick Caputo. Mixing carrot juice, Domaine de Canton ginger liquer with rye whiskey and yellow chartreuse creates a savory cocktail with a sweetness that showcases the carrot in a new way.
We also are paying homage to the humble carrot in our Roasted Carrot Cumin Yogurt, which would surely satisfy consumers’ taste for a savory twist on yogurt. Featuring our Umami Medley® 7501 and spiced with the warmth of cumin, this yogurt gets its sweetness from carrot and is certainly trend worthy on many fronts.
Hopefully we have inspired you to add carrots to your next project list (or grocery list). Keep in mind that we have the ingredients to make your carrot-centered concept burst with flavor, no matter how you prepare it.