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Produce of the week: Carrot

Ah… the humble carrot, these sweet and crunchy little everyday heroes – what would the world be without them!?
It’s a bit of a standing joke in the test kitchen that if a dish is lacking a bit of vege content it is our knee jerk reaction to add a carrot to it.
“Let’s grate a carrot in this”
Then we try to control ourselves and give the other vegetables a fair chance.
Although the orange variety is the most well know and readily available, these beautiful root veges come in more or less all the colours of the rainbow. The other day we were using some locally grown purple specimens in the test kitchen, a little earthier than the orange friends.
While it’s not entirely true that carrots can make you see in the dark, they are rich in beta carotene, which converts to retinol in the human body – vital for eye health and also general immunity. So tuck in!
Most of the carrots we source are grown in…. you guessed it…. Ohakune! Most of the baby carrots used in EFB dinners come from Southern Fresh just outside Cambridge. Delish!
Sure, carrots are great “on the side” but if you fancy getting a little creative I recommend trying this recipe: carrot taco shells/tostadas. They’re really grate! (see what I did there?)
Carrot Taco Shells 
Ingredients:
2 cups carrots, grated
¼ cup water
¼ cup cheddar cheese, grated
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp flour (wholemeal, gluten free or plain)
Salt and pepper to taste
Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
For the carrot taco shells, peel and grate carrots then place into a pot and cover with water. Place over a medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain them and spread out on clean tea towel. Firmly squeeze out any extra water until they are dry. Removing the excess water is crucial to prevent the taco shells from going soggy. 
Combine carrot with the grated cheese (reserving some for serving), egg, flour and salt and pepper. Divide the mixture into 2-3 evenly sized portions per person. Spread out the portions onto the baking paper in thin layers, pressing down gently. Pop into the oven and cook for around 15 minutes until crisped up.
Test kitchen tip: This method will make flat taco shells, aka tostadas. If you prefer them bowed like a traditional taco shell, simply “bend” the rounds over a small bottle or glass. Gently transfer shells to the oven. As the shells cool after cooking they will harden up.
Serve with taco mince and crunchy veges. 
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