With their sweet, earthy taste and crisp, snappy texture, carrots just might be the perfect vegetable, especially in the spring, when they’re in peak season. Now’s the time to look for colorful varieties in hues of red, yellow and purple to add some dazzle to Easter and springtime dishes. Choose carrots that are firm and free of cracks, preferably with the green tops intact for a picked-from-the-garden look. Whether serving them raw as crunchy crudités, chilled in a colorful salad or roasted with fresh herbs, the versatile root vegetable should be a star on this season’s dining table. Try these vibrant carrot recipes from local chefs, and guests at your Easter brunch will have no trouble eating their veggies.
Chef-owner, Meyer & Sage
Bursting with fresh herbs, vibrant colors and heart-healthy oils, this simple side dish is new on the Meyer & Sage culinary delivery-service menu this spring. Owner and chef Callie Salls uses spring peas to add vivid color and creamy texture to her accompanying herb pesto, which can be served atop the golden roasted carrots or on the side.
Chef-owner, Local Foods Kitchen
With luxurious ingredients like champagne vinegar, minced shallots and pink Himalayan salt, Katie Schma’s rainbow carrot salad delights with every crisp, chilled bite. No cooking is required in this simple dish, which Schma says can be adapted to individual taste by “adding anything you want for that extra crunch you love.” Make it an entree by topping with chilled shrimp or roasted chicken.
Chef-owner, My Sweet Roots
Sesame oil and sweet honey make this flavor-packed dish from My Sweet Roots meal delivery service a standout in any springtime spread. Whole green onions, whole garlic cloves and whole bunches of herb sprigs provide for a rustic, garden-inspired presentation.
Roasted carrots with spring pea pesto
- 3 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced 1 inch thick on the bias (may also use whole, peeled baby carrots)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh-cracked pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup steamed spring peas
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup pistachios
- 1 clove crushed garlic
- Juice and zest of 1 large lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- Kosher salt and fresh-cracked pepper, to taste
- 1 handful fresh basil leaves
- 1 handful fresh mint leaves
- 1 cup organic grapeseed oil
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Toss carrots in a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Transfer to a sheet pan in one layer and roast for 20 minutes, until browned and tender.
2. While carrots are roasting, make the pesto: Pulse together peas, cheese, pistachios, garlic, lemon juice and zest, honey, and salt and pepper in a food processor. Stir in basil and mint. With the motor running, slowly add the grapeseed oil until well combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Serve atop the roasted carrots or on the side in a small bowl.
Rainbow carrot salad
House citronelle dressing:
- 2 tablespoons each zest from lemon and orange (use a cheese grater for a fine zest)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or pink Himalayan salt
- 2 bunches rainbow carrots, washed and dried
- 1 handful arugula
- 1 bunch fresh dill sprigs
- 1 small bunch chives, snipped
1. Whisk together dressing ingredients and reserve.
2. Using a peeler, slice carrots into ribbons into a bowl of ice water. Drain and toss with arugula, dill, chives and dressing, and serve.
4548 Hartwood Drive, Fort Worth, 817-238-3464, www.localfoodskitchen.com
Heirloom carrots with honey-herb drizzle
- 10-12 heirloom carrots in a variety of sizes and colors, washed and dried
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 10 sprigs each thyme and oregano
- Salt, to taste
- 5 whole garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 green onions
- 2 tablespoons honey
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lay carrots so they are not touching. Drizzle with oils until coated but not too wet. Sprinkle with thyme and oregano leaves, leaving a few sprig bunches whole. Add salt. Distribute the garlic cloves evenly around carrots and tuck the green onions between the carrots.
2. Roast for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and rotate carrots. Use a fork to drizzle honey over carrots. Roast for 10 to 15 more minutes and serve.