Rainbow Matchstick Carrots

Here’s another of my favorite veggie sides growing up. It never mattered how many carrots my mom cooked up, they were all devoured and my brother, my sister and I could have all eaten more!

Truly, the way my mom made this dish with just carrots, butter and salt is delicious but I’ve given the original recipe a little pizazz by adding cumin and cilantro. These additions are completely optional, of course, but one thing I often hear from you all is that you want to know more about how to use spices and herbs in dishes to make them taste yummy. Cumin is a pretty traditional Mexican food spice. It’s also found in curries such as Indian or Thai curries. It really pairs nicely with the sweetness of these carrots and the cilantro, another good Mexican/Tex – Mex flavor, just gives these carrots a nice Tex-Mex flair. But, you can put them with any cuisine you’re preparing (such as any of our marinated grilled chicken recipes).

You can certainly just use orange carrots but you can find bags of purple, red, orange and yellow carrots many places now and they are very pretty when all cut up together. I’ve seen both baby carrots and big carrots in rainbow packages. Here in Lubbock look at Sprouts or Natural Grocers. Other places, like Market Street, are worth a look, too.

The recipe below feeds about 4 people (roughly 2 large carrots per person). You can make more or less as your need dictates. A good rule of thumb is about 1 Tbs of fat for every two large carrots and salt to taste (I always find I add more salt than you would think is necessary to this dish in particular).

P.S. Any leftover carrots are tasty added cold to a salad or stuffed into a beef or chicken taco or lettuce wrap.

ingredients

  • about 8 large carrots, cut into 2 or 3 sections and then into matchsticks (or the equivalent amount in baby carrots. Just eyeball it.)
  • 2 Tbs real butter (making sure some of your fat is butter makes this dish extra yummy)
  • 2 Tbs avocado oil (Costco has a GREAT price on this & adding another kind of fat helps keep your butter from burning)
  • 1 tsp salt + more to taste
  • a bit of freshly cracked black pepper
Fanci-fy It:
  • -1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • -fresh chopped cilantro (for sprinkling on top at serving time)

instructions

  1. Prep your carrots by cutting them into all your little matchsticks. Set aside.
  2. Place a large sauté pan over medium to medium-high heat. If you have one with deep sides, this is best because you’ll want to turn your carrots with a spatula.
  3. Add the butter and oil to the pan and wait a few minutes until it starts to shimmer. This means it’s hot and ready.
  4. Add your carrots to the pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cumin powder (if using).
  5. Turn the carrots and seasoning with a spatula until all pieces are coated with fat.
  6. At this point, I steam the carrots a bit so they soften and therefore cook faster. Do this by adding about 1/3 C water to the pan and covering it with a lid. Wait 4 or 5 minutes.
  7. Remove lid and stir carrots again. Leave the lid off at this point so all the water can evaporate. Make sure you still hear that sizzling sound at all times.
  8. Let the carrots cook for another 15 minutes or so, turning every few minutes. Add more avocado oil to the pan if you think it’s too dry and the carrots are sticking to the bottom.
  9. The amount of time you let your carrots cook is up to you. Just test one to see if it’s soft. Some people like very soft veggies. Some like their veggies to still have a bit of a crunch. I recommend this. SOME people, like myself, also like caramelization on pretty much anything. So, don’t be afraid to let the carrots brown on the bottom of the pan some as you stir them. This is delicious flavor.
  10. When your carrots are done to your liking and have enough salt, take them off heat and sprinkle fresh cilantro on top (as much or as little as you like).
  11. Enjoy!

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