Heirloom carrots are the darling of winter markets and menus right now.
Sprawling from hessian shopping bags and plated up in gourmet restaurants with bold colours that scream “Instagram me” – it’s hard to scrawl your newsfeed without seeing an heirloom carrot or two with a filter on it.
Just because they look like the kind of dish you’d find in a trendy restaurant, doesn’t mean they’re tricky to cook. In fact, they’re just as easy to fry up, as a main meal or side dish, as any old (orange) carrot. They are also just as good for you – if not better.
Because the different pigments provide different nutrients, nutritionists recommend eating a range of vegetables in an array of different colours as part of a balanced diet, which makes these colourful carrots a major diet booster.
According to Time Magazine’s HealthLand, orange and purple carrots are packed with beta and alpha carotene pigment, which promotes vitamin A production for healthy eyes; red carrots include lycopene and beta-carotene pigment, linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer; and yellow carrots contain xanthophykks and lutein, which are also linked to cancer prevention and healthy eyes.
So next time you’re looking to try something different in the kitchen, take a punt on heirloom carrots.
We fry ours in certified Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) because it not only makes everything taste better, the EVOO helps the body absorb more of the nutrients and antioxidants in vegetables.
In fact, did you know that how carotenoids (found in carrots) are better absorbed in the body when cooked in Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Thanks to the wonderful people at Coriole Vineyards in McLaren Vale, South Australia, for introducing us to this simple heirloom carrots recipe for home cooks.
- 1/4 cup certified Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 10-12 heirloom carrots (choose a range of colours)
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 6 large kale leaves (finely sliced into strips)
- 1 cup goat’s curd
- Saltbush leaves (or fresh thyme / oregano)
Place a pan over medium heat and add the heirloom carrots, cook for a few minutes before adding a good slosh of certified Australian EVOO. Then pan fry until the carrots are cooked al dente.
Sprinkle the carrots with fennel seeds, cumin, salt and pepper, then fry until the carrots have some colour. Add the kale strips and continue cooking until the kale is warmed and slightly wilted.
Serve by topping with dollops of goat’s curd and fresh saltbush leaves – if you can’t find saltbush, fresh thyme or oregano leaves also taste great with this dish.
If you’re not a fan of goat’s curd you can also top with fresh Persian feta, then drizzle with Australian EVOO to finish.