Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Grow To Eat: Carrots

Carrots aren't the most glamorous crop but they are incredibly simple to grow and they are a good litmus test for the balcony gardener. It wont tell us if we are any good but it will tell us if gardening books are. I don't know about you but I own a few books that promise that container growing is easy and there are tips within to help you only to realise, reading the book, that the author probably hasn't spent much of their gardening career container growing. One of the best tests is if they discount the idea of us growing nice long carrots and say 'well I suppose you could grow the stubby ball kind'

The Carrots pictured in a previous MoFo. Because it's dark out.
We can grow carrots long too! All you need to grow a nice long carrot is unobstructed compost that goes down about the size of a long carrot. As I'm sure I've posted about before we grow ours in an office bin with holes in the bottom. It's orange. This amuses me. I've started sowing them with a cover of love in the mist which is gorgeous.

I sow carrots as soon as it's warm enough to, usually a crop in march and a crop in June. I pull them when I want them. I don't pull them to store, preferring to leave them in the ground, so to speak. This did backfire one year when I ran up to the flat to get a carrot for the nose of our snowman and finding none in the fridge I went to the tub. Of course you can't pull out of frozen solid soil and I fell backwards across the balcony. It's only really cold enough not to be able to pull carrots two weeks of the year, if that, and I don't really have the space to store them inside so this works best for us.

And what do I do when I pull them? Well many, many, varied things. Okay, so mostly I just roast them and serve them where I would usually eat chips like on with burger or hot dog or bits of tofu. They really go great roasted with the same spices as I put with Baked Celeriac Chips or Sweet Paprika Kholrabi and Carrot Chips or just with salt and pepper. Both of which, you'll notice, I served with burgers. But while I was thinking about this post I couldn't get two flavours out of my head. One is the Cornish Sea Salt Pinch Salt I bought last month in Penzance which is combined with garlic. The other is the made in heaven combination of cumin and carrots. So...
Well done carrots, with a lovely cumin and garlic taste

Roasted Garlic and Cumin Carrots
(serves one, on the side, multiply as desired)

About six carrots washed and halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Heat the oven to 180 and place the carrots on a bakeing try

In a separate dish mix the cumin, oil and salt

Poor the spice mixture over the carrots

Bake for 20-30 minutes (smaller or early season carrots may need less time, unless you like things a bit brown like I do) flipping half way


1 comment:

  1. Oh, I love this! There is nothing better than home-grown produce if you ask me (which you didn't ask me--I just sprung my opinion upon you). hehe. And I'm so jealous right now that I'm not eating those garlicky carrots. They look awesome.