[Sca-cooks] Cooking methods for carrots

Robin Carroll-Mann rcarrollmann at gmail.com
Tue Aug 17 12:43:34 PDT 2010

I just got an email from a lady who took my Spanish cookbook class at
Pennsic.  I had mentioned roast carrots, and she wanted to know if
there was a recipe in de Nola.  I thought others might be interested
in my reply:

No, the "Libro de Guisados" does not have a recipe for roasted
carrots.  The only mention of carrots it contains is #119 Cazuela
Moji, which is a recipe for an eggplant casserole that says at the end
that same recipe can be made with chard or carrots.

Roast carrots are mentioned in the "Arte de Cortar", a 1423 carving
manual which has not (to my knowledge) been translated into English.
It says that carrots roasted in the coals should have their skins
removed by hand -- no knife necessary -- and be cut into quarters.
The 16th century "Libro de Agricultura" by Gabriel Alonso de Herrera
goes into more detail.  I'm looking at the 1551 edition online.
Here's a quick and dirty translation of the relevant section:

"and they are very good roasted on the coals and well cleaned and cut
small and with oil and salt and vinegar and with cinnamon it makes a
very fine salad, stirring it with some leaves of parsley and mint."
(see image #251)

Herrera mentions other cooking methods.  Stewed/boiled carrots are
good as a treatment for dropsy.  Carrots are also good fried, coated
either with flour or with a thin, liquid "dough" (I assume this means
what we would today call a batter).  They make a good lectuary (a
medicinal kind of preserves).  They can be either fried or par-boiled
in a small amount of water, then cooked whole in honey or sugar.  Or
chopped, or even mashed, then mixed with cinnamon, ginger, or other
good spices.  He adds that the light-colored carrots are better than
the red ones for this purpose, as they're more tender.

Platina (15th c. Italian) has a recipe for roasted carrots called
"Cariota".  You'll find a translation of it on the website of the
Carrot Museum, which is itself and interesting and useful resource.

Brighid ni Chiarain

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