With Rosh Hashanah just around the corner I was thinking it might be interesting for me to tie a traditional dish to my post this week. Let me first say that I am not Jewish, but have attended a fair amount of seders in my lifetime thanks in part to some wonderful friends and family members. After a quick call to my friend Peter Green I almost immediately settled on the idea of re-imagining the dish Tzimmes. The main ingredient of this dish is carrot, and right now the Farmers Markets are teeming with them. Bright big and beautiful white, red and orange taproots.
As I noodled around the internet this week reading about carrots I found a few interesting tidbits I thought would be fun to pass along. I was fascinated to read that unlike most vegetables carrots are so much better for you if you cook them. Eating them raw is still nutritous, but cooking added more nutrients nearly 10 fold!
Carrots were first cultivated for medicinal purposes and then for eating. It seems from some accounts this glorious food originated in the Middle East and traveled off to the Mediterranean. Carrots are high in Beta-Carotene and Vitamins A (for vision), C & K. They are low in sodium and carbohydrates, high in fiber and have zero fat or cholesterol.
One trivia website I read said that eating 3 carrots can give you enough energy to walk 3 miles. (Really? Perhaps I need to try that!) Another bit of information I found said that the high level of Potassium found in carrots can help keep muscle cramps to a minimum while working out. Definitely something I need to keep in mind when doing Pilates!
This week my creativity was out of control, thanks in part to a trip to the Chappaqua Farmers Market. I knew that I needed honey and carrots for my dish, so maybe I would find a few other things. I picked up my carrots at the Madura Farm table and right next to them I got my jar of honey from Honey Locust Farm House. I love the Chappaqua market, it sits on an open lawn in front of St. Mary's Church, on South Greeley Street. You can basically stand anywhere in that space and survey the vendors. Directly across from from Honey Locust I saw my favorite nut vendor Tierra Farm and zipped over to that table. They have the most delicious nuts and nut butters. As soon as I saw the Agave Ginger Cashews it started to come together in my mind: I would do a glaze of honey and ginger on the carrots and then top them with the crushed nuts. As I started to walk back to the car I passed the Newgate Farm table and spotted some early parsnips. I could not resist!
To read the rest of my blog post and to see my easy recipes using carrots click here.
For information on my upcoming Cooking Classes at Tarry Market click here.