|purple carrots in a stir fry of garlic shoots, red peppers, red onion and cherry tomatoes|
I discovered the wonder of black carrots in our local market, when we were in southwest France this summer. According to my source at the Carrot Museum they have been around for thousands of years but my find was certainly a first for me. Black carrots have a unique taste, all of their own, quite different from the common orange variety. Split in half, gently cooked in butter until just past the al dente stage, ideal served alone or as a side dish - they are quite delicious! Do not boil them, this leaches out the colour losing the flavour in the process.
Back in Oz, I recently came across purple carrots – they too were a surprise! I found them at the Kings Cross Saturday farmer’s market in Sydney and then again in Woolworths (who would have thought it!). The Carrot museum tells us the UK reintroduced purple carrots into British supermarkets just recently after five long centuries but had no takers. (So, good luck Woolies). However, I am sure local farmer’s markets in the UK who specialize in heirloom varieties will supply them like our markets here do.
Purple carrots lend themselves to the same cooking process as the black variety but they are both equally delicious chopped into small rings and served raw in salads.
Both black and purple carrots are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties so they are extremely good for you. They are something very different and provide an attractive, colourful accompaniment to any dish or salad.
Please note: Yellow and white varieties exist too. Keep an eye out.
black and purple carrot recipe, click here for printer friendly version: