One of the most popular root vegetables in Britain, carrots are a very versatile vegetable. Look for carrots that are brightly coloured with a smooth skin. A variety of carrots are sold at Waitrose including tiny Dwarf carrots which are especially tender, small Chantenay carrots have a particularly sweet flavour and are sold prepacked.
Baby carrots are young tender finger-sized carrots with a subtle, sweet flavour, they are available prepacked. Organic carrots are also available – look out for regular carrots and also for bunched organic carrots that still have the feathery green tops attached. Available all year.
Uses: As an accompanying vegetable, grated raw in salads, in carrot cake, in stews and soups
To store: Keep for up to 1 week in the fridge or in a cool, dark place.
To prepare: For dwarf, Chantenay or baby carrots, top and tail, scrub well and cook whole. Other carrots should be topped and tailed and then peeled; slice into rounds, dice or matchsticks before cooking. Bunched carrots can be scrubbed and the pretty green tops left on during cooking to provide an attractive garnish.
To cook: Cook in boiling salted water for 5 12 minutes, depending on the size, until tender or steam for 15–25 minutes. Sprinkle cooked carrots with chopped fresh parsley or chives. Bake sliced carrots with 3–5 tbsp of water, 2 tbsp of honey and a knob of butter in a covered casserole in the oven at 190°C, gas mark 5 for 40–50 minutes or until tender. Chantenay or dwarf carrots can be added whole to casseroles.
Carrot vegetable medley
A mixture of washed and ready-to-cook prepared vegetables including carrots, baby corn chunks, runner bean chevrons and fine beans.
Uses: Serve as a vegetable accompaniment or stir fry with cooked meat, fish or poultry and a fresh stir fry sauce of your choice for a simple supper.
To store: Keep in the fridge and consume by the best before date.
To cook:To boil: Remove from the pack and add to boiling water. Cover and simmer for 4-6 minutes or until tender, drain before serving. To microwave: Pierce the film in several places and place on a microwave-proof plate and cook on full power for 4-4½ minutes. Allow to stand for 2 minutes and check that the food is piping hot throughout: if not re-cover and heat for a further brief period.
To stir fry: Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan or wok add the vegetables and stir fry for 3 minutes, add cooked meat, fish or poultry and fresh stir fry sauce if desired and stir for 1 minute. Serve with rice or noodles.