January 25, 2013
On our recent trip to NYC, almost every dining experience featured a puree of some sort. The kicker was the carrot puree amuse bouche served at Daniel. It was so delicious I wanted to pick-up my porcelain ramekin in the middle of that gorgeous dining room and tongue it clean.
I asked the waiter how it was made and he gave me the cliff notes version of the recipe. You better believe the first thing I tackled in the kitchen when we came home was this puree. I’ve served it with a side of a steak, plated it with a simple garden salad and even made it an amuse bouche for my family while they were waiting for dinner to be ready. In all incarnations, it’s welcomed and devoured.
Carrots are so intensely sweet right now that you don’t need to do much to make a delicious puree. Every time I’ve served this, people think its butternut squash. It’s great to take something so ordinary and transform it into a beautiful showstopper on the plate.
6 small carrots, preferably organic
You’ll find them in a bunch, bound with a rubber band and stems still attached. For me, the best carrots this season have come from Whole Foods. I like to pick smaller sized carrots; in the winter months they tend to be the sweetest.
Give the carrots a good scrub with a brush, no need to peel.
Next, cut the carrots into 1-2 inch pieces, place in medium size saucepan, covering with about 2 cups of water.
1 tsp of salt and bring to boil on medium high heat.
Reduce to simmer and continue to cook about 13-15 minutes, until fork tender.
Strain carrots, reserving the cooking liquid
Puree in a blender (I love my Vitamix!) with 1 tablespoon heavy cream and 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Add a bit more water and or cream if it seems too dry. Puree until smooth.
A few serving ideas:
As an appetizer with sliced spiced almonds and a sprig of dill.
As an accompaniment to a dressed salad.
As a layer of flavor underneath your favorite protein.