Vegetable of the Week: Carrot

– The carrot is a root vegetable, usually orange, although purple, red, white, and yellow varieties exist
– The carrot we usually eat is a domesticated form of the wild carrot, native to Europe and southwestern Asia
– The domestic carrot has been bred for its larger and tastier, less woody taproot
– When they were first cultivated, carrots were grown for their aromatic leaves and seeds rather than their roots
– Carrot diameter can range from 1 cm to as much as 10 cm at the widest part
– Carrot length ranges from 5 to 50 cm, although most are between 10 and 25 cm
– Some people are allergic to carrots
– Carrot varieties can be grouped into two broad classes, eastern carrots and western carrots
– Specimens of the eastern carrot that survive to the present day are commonly purple or yellow, and often have branched roots
– The western carrot emerged in the Netherlands in the 17th century, its orange colour making it popular in those countries as an emblem of the House of Orange and the struggle for Dutch independence
– The city of Holtville, California, promotes itself as “Carrot Capital of the World”, and holds an annual festival devoted entirely to the carrot
– Europe was traditionally the major centre of carrot production, but was overtaken by Asia in 1997

Carrot Souffle

Carrot Souffle
Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:
1 pound carrots, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup white sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Lightly grease a 2 quart casserole dish.
3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
4. Add carrots and cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Drain and mash.
6. Stir in margarine, vanilla extract and eggs; mix well.
7. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar; stir into carrot mixture and blend until smooth.
8. Transfer to prepared casserole dish.
9. Bake for 45 minutes.
10. Enjoy!

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