Fortunately, when it comes to petite carrots, Farmer Lee Jones has witnessed a different kind of double take – the kind where chefs are joyfully surprised at the size and appearance of petite carrots. “Then, when they taste them,” Lee continues, “they’re surprised at how these petite vegetables have all the flavor intensity of a full-sized carrot, but in a convenient bite-sized morsel. This gives chefs yet another opportunity to provide something pleasantly unexpected on the plate.”
“There is a preconceived notion, a very natural one to have,” Lee also says, “that carrots will be long. That’s what makes people really do a double take when they see petite versions.”
In 2016, University Hospital put out a list of the top ten heart healthy vegetables – and carrots made the list. “Carrots,” the article reads, “are rich in carotenoids, which are powerful antioxidants that can combat free radicals that cause heart disease.” And, petite carrots pack that powerful punch in bite-size treats, about two inches long apiece.
Carrots are one of the world’s most versatile vegetables, deliciously crunchy when raw, and perfect for dipping. They can be baked or boiled, pulped or pureed. Carrots can be fried, grated, juiced, steamed or mashed. Dehydrate them to make chips and use the carrot greens.
The natural sweetness of carrots makes them ideal for breads, brownies and cakes. Carrots can be used in ice creams, custards, puddings and more. In Portugal, people enjoy making carrot jam; in India, they are a feature of a multitude of desserts.
Although orange is now the standard color of carrots appearing in grocery stores (but not at The Chef’s Garden!), orange carrots weren’t in existence until the 17th century. That’s somewhat surprising, given that the vegetable itself is many thousands of years old. Dutch farmers bred the orange carrot in honor of the Dutch Royal family, according to FillYourPlate.org. Why? The royal family was known as the House of Orange.
FillYourPlate.org also lists these tidbits of information:
Petite carrots sustainably grown at The Chef’s Garden are bursting with flavor. Consider pairing them with Carmellini® beans, those sweet, medium-green beans that resemble French green beans but smaller in size. Another excellent pairing choice: Calvin pea tendrils. These tendrils and their tiny leaves are incredible sweet and flavorful, invented by the inventor of the sugar snap pea.