by: Janet Kalandranis
Ladies and gentlemen, you are lucky (or maybe I am), as I have an amazing line-up of delicious South Shore eats in the upcoming months. But this post is a little break from venturing outside my home and instead tackling a problem that is occurring inside…the ever-growing number of local carrots from South Shore Organics that I have. Originally, I thought this was reason enough to buy a horse, but my husband said no (don’t worry, I’m still working on this). So instead I bring you savory and sweet and a whole lot of deliciousness.
First, let’s talk savory. I don’t think carrots get enough credit. They are super accessible and I think my little orange buddies are taken for granted. Can we all just agree to stop this now? I will if you will. With a natural sweet flavor that intensifies with roasting, I promise that carrots will no longer be left in the dark. And then add the perfect compliment, our friend thyme, and the result is a local masterpiece.
Local Roasted Carrots
1-3 sprigs of thyme
3-5 Tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Chop carrots into 2 inch chunks or larger. Place the carrots on a baking sheet.
Remove the leaves of thyme from the stem by running your fingers from top to bottom of the stem.
Sprinkle the thyme, salt, pepper onto the carrots. Drizzle with olive oil and use your hands to mix all the ingredients together on the baking sheet.
Cook for 20-25 minutes until the carrots are tender but still have some bite to them.
And now we move on to sweet. Because, let’s be honest, my days are happier with a little sweet in them. And what does one do when they have a large stack of carrots? Make carrot cupcakes, of course. It’s really the only answer. I tell myself it’s not a dessert because there are carrots in them. And walnuts. And cream cheese. So yes, you can eat these for breakfast; I won’t judge.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups tightly packed shredded carrots
3/4 cup walnuts chopped
Cream Cheese Frosting
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat together the eggs and brown sugar on medium-high speed for 3–4 minutes, or until the mixture is light-colored and thick. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the oil mixture into the egg-sugar mixture.
In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg-sugar mixture. When most of the flour mixture has been incorporated, add the carrots and walnuts and continue to fold until the batter is just mixed. Pour into muffin cups.
Bake for about 50 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
While the cake is baking, put the cream cheese in the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute until smooth. Add the butter and continue to beat for another 1 minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat for until well mixed.
Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes or spread the frosting on the cupcakes with an icing spatula.
And now your days are both savory and sweet!
Janet Kalandranis is lover of all things local, especially food. She is a marketing guru by day and documents her free time about her love of food, family and the South Shore at www.foodbeautiful.blogspot.com.