Nigel Slater’s recipes for carrots with cashews, and with basil cream
The sweetness of carrots will lift spirits at the autumn table
A fat bunch of late summer carrots, long, slim and with feathery plumes, is a sight to lift the spirits. In the kitchen, they grate without turning to mush the way the early spring varieties do, and are substantial enough to become, along with onions and celery, the backbone of the first slowly simmered dish of the autumn.
Raw or lightly steamed, the carrot’s inherent sweetness is tamed with something sour – a dash of lemon juice, a spoonful of thick yoghurt or kefir, or a tangle of red cabbage. Roasted they will soften while their edges become as chewy as toffee – a vehicle for a sharp sauce or dressing with crème fraîche or lemon oil. To modernise a retro grated carrot salad I like to add pink, lightly pickled onions, chopped lemon thyme or Japanese pickles.