What's up, doc? Carrot-centric dishes
The Inside Scoop: Keeping up with my tradition of picking the absolutely hardest foods on the planet to find, I picked carrots this week. The Indian dish was really, really good. But I had to go to two restaurants to find a good one, as the first restaurant's version tasted like shoe leather. The chocolate carrot cake was really a disappointment, though I didn't write that. The problem was you could barely even see the carrot shards, let alone taste them. But I really liked the baker and his tiny shop, so I kept it in there. Plus, it was different, albeit only in name. Common Ground was out there - something out of Lord of the Rings. I had no idea it was run by a religious group. Their pizza looked good. Alas, no carrot pizza.
TABLE HOPPING, April 9, 2006
In honor of the Easter Bunny, this week's Table Hopping is all about -- you guessed it -- carrots. Sure, they make your eyesight better. But carrots are also an extremely versatile cooking ingredient, present in soups, sweets, salads, stir-frys, breads and many more dishes. Bushy tail or not, the following carrot-centric dishes should impress.
704 Mass Ave.,
Well, Well, Well . . .
''An experiment that worked" is how Well, Well, Well . . . owner Cornelia Hoskin describes organic carrots marsala, one of a few dozen gourmet frozen meals available at her South End takeout store. Cooking up fresh carrots from Busa Farm in
Marjorie Druker likes lots of foods, but she worships carrots. ''Some people may think of them as a mundane, everyday vegetable. But really, they're like royalty," says the Soup Factory's head chef and owner. Her carrot, honey, and ginger soup, introduced Friday, is simply regal. Made with crème fresh, ''the jaguar of sour cream," she says, the dish is zesty, almost like a yellow curry, but far smoother. Druker makes several carrot soups throughout the year, including carrot and roasted leek, but this one's her favorite. ''Carrots and honey together -- it's like saying peanut butter and jelly," she gushes ($5.50/pint).
Flecks of carrots add both color and taste to Sweet Finnish's ''porkkanaleipa," the tongue-twisting Finnish name for carrot bread. ''We're big on big words," jokes Ulla Monestime, a Finnish native who opened her Internet bakery café on bustling Centre Street two years ago. Made with oats and wheat flour, porkkanaleipa is a hardy but tasty bread, and, well, slightly unusual. Monestime credits her mother with the recipe, noting that carrot bread is common across
Blue Frog Bakery
Brad Brown bakes a classic carrot cake in his tiny side-street bakery, but his chocolate carrot cake is what turns heads. ''We're the only people I know of who make it," says the
Vitamins practically coursed through my veins as I slurped a glass of freshly squeezed carrot juice from Common Ground's juice bar one afternoon last week. The yummy frosted carrot cake I had for dessert wasn't nearly as nutritious, but, seeing as how it was made with organic carrots, organic flour and honey instead of sugar, my guilt was kept to a minimum. ''We serve things that are wholesome," says manager Nezer Aldokhi. Even Common Ground's pizzas, made with easy-to-digest spelt crust, have a healthy flair to them.