This week at the Co-op: Carrots

Carrots can feel sort of ubiquitous- as orange mush in a Gerber jar, in their smooth shaved-down “baby carrot” form, or as soft rounds in Campbells chicken soup. In these standard grocery iterations, you might forget how absolutely scrumptious a simple, honest carrot can be. That is, until you get your mitts on a crisp, fresh, sweet, somewhat knobby, and delicious organic carrot from the Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op. Banish all thoughts of cafeterias, snap into a fresh local root, or try making these vegetarian thai carrot burgers for yourself.

Thai Carrot Burgers

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, including 1 inch of the dark green part, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 serrano chili pepper, finely chopped (with the seeds if you prefer more heat)
  • 4 cups grated carrots (about 8 medium)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons natural, unsweetened peanut butter
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup toasted bread crumbs.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Warm 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan that has a lid. When hot, add the scallions and cook just until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and serrano pepper and stir for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in the carrots, salt, coriander, turmeric, and cinnamon. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the carrots are soft but not mushy.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg whites, peanut butter, and lime juice. Stir in the carrot mixture and the cilantro. Fold in the bread crumbs. Let sit for about 10 minutes to allow the crumbs to absorb some liquid. Adjust seasonings. Shape into 4 patties.

In an oven-safe skillet or nonstick sauté pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the patties and brown 2 or 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the burgers are firm and cooked through.

Red cabbage slaw goes nicely with these burgers, either as a side or served directly on the burgers, as does julienned cabbage that’s been tossed in a bit of rice vinegar and salt.

Recipe and image from Lukas Volger, via the NYT, check out his “Best Veggie Burger Project” for more amazing recipes.