Sunday, 16 January 2011
How to make 2 meals out of a 15p bag of carrots
One of the problems of buying cheap veg, particularly ones that have neared their sell-by date is that they don’t taste of much. Which means they’re not going to taste that exciting raw or steamed. There’s also the challenge of ringing the changes enough not to tire of them, particularly if you’re catering for one.
The best way to overcome that, I reckon, is to apply fierce heat to them - i.e. roast, grill or fry them over a high heat - and/or spice them up. That’s exactly what I did with a bag of carrots I picked up in the Co-op for 15p.
I roasted enough to make two recipes - a roast carrot and chickpea soup and and a roast carrot houmus recipe I’d been eyeing for a while in Alice Hart’s Alice’s Cook Book.
I don’t think the carrots had quite enough flavour for the houmus - or else the tahini I was using was too strong but the soup was great. Here’s how I’d go about the two recipes another time:
To prepare the carrots you need
450-500g carrots, peeled and sliced thickly on the slant
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into eighths
1 rounded tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp sunflower oil
Pre-heat the oven to 400°C/Gas 6 (or better still use it when it’s on for something else). Put the carrots and onion in a small roasting tin with the oil and cumin seeds, mix well and roast for about 25 minutes until the carrots are tender and beginning to colour. Set aside and cool for 5 minutes.
For the roast carrot and chickpea soup (enough for 2 bowls)
a quarter of a 400g can chickpeas
half the roast carrots and onion
375ml vegetable or chicken stock
a pinch of turmeric
salt and pepper
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Put the roasted carrots, onion and chickpeas in a blender with just enough stock to blitz to a smooth paste. Gradually add the rest of the stock and whizz until smooth. Tip into a pan, season with salt, pepper and a pinch of ground turmeric and bring to simmering point. Leave over a low heat for 5 minutes, season and serve.
For the roast carrot houmus you need (enough for 4)
the other half of the roasted carrots
the rest of the chickpeas
about 2 tsp tahini paste
1 tbsp plain yoghurt
a clove of garlic, crushed
Salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste
Whizz all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste adding a little more tahini or yoghurt if you think it needs it. I'd serve this with wholemeal pitta bread.
For more ideas about what to do with carrots check out this post
Do you have any favourite ways of using up carrots or other cheap veg?