This year I grew way too many carrots. I had misplanned my allotments and had space left over, so ended up throwing in a load of Chantenay carrot seeds.
I made a schoolboy error by planting the seeds simultaneously, giving me a monster carrot harvest. All allotment pros know you have stagger your seed planting to get a nice carrot harvest over weeks or even months.
Anyway, my family is now eating carrots for every meal, including desserts. Here are a few family favourites that are simple to make and are winners.
I can’t be bothered to install the fancy WordPress recipe plugins to prettify them, I hardly ever post recipes. If my wife starts writing about some of her recipes, I might look into it.
Allotment Carrot and ginger soup
Ingredients: 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1-inch piece of ginger, 1-pound carrots, 4 cups of vegetable broth, salt, and pepper.
Dice the onion and mince the garlic and ginger. In a large pot, sauté the onion in oil until softened, then add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Peel and slice the carrots, then add them to the pot and cook for a few minutes. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the carrots are tender. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
Allotment Carrot and lentil stew
Ingredients: 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1-pound carrots, 1 cup of lentils, 1 can of diced tomatoes, 4 cups of vegetable broth, 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of paprika, salt, and pepper.
Method: Dice the onion and mince the garlic. In a large pot, sauté the onion in oil until softened, then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Peel and slice the carrots, then add them to the pot and cook for a few minutes. Rinse the lentils and add them to the pot along with the diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, cumin, and paprika. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until the lentils are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
Allotment Carrot and almond cake
Ingredients: 1 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, 2 eggs, 1-pound carrots, 1/2 cup of almond meal, 1/2 cup of chopped almonds.
Method: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake tin. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the sugar and oil together until smooth, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Grate the carrots and stir them into the egg mixture, then stir in the flour mixture. Stir in the almond meal and chopped almonds. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the tin before slicing and serving.
Allotment Carrot and coriander fritters
Ingredients: 1-pound carrots, 1/2 cup of flour, 1 egg, 1/4 cup of chopped coriander, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, salt, and pepper.
Method: Peel and grate the carrots, then place them in a bowl. Add the flour, egg, coriander, cumin, salt, and pepper, and stir until well combined. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add a little oil. Drop spoonfuls of the fritter mixture into the pan and flatten slightly. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden and crispy. Serve hot with a dipping sauce of your choice.
Allotment Carrot and parsnip mash
Ingredients: 1-pound carrots, 1-pound parsnips, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup of milk, 2 tablespoons of butter, salt, and pepper.
Method: Peel and chop the carrots and parsnips into small pieces. Place them in a large saucepan with the garlic and enough water
Brian Sheridan has an allotment in Edgbaston and is a competitive grower. Brian is also a keen photographer and loves cooking. Brian and his wife Mary will also be running a stall at Edgebaston artisan market this year, selling products made from the allotment, including his award-winning relish!