Carrot Ginger Puree

Yesterday it finally felt like spring and for me there was no other way to mark the occasion than with a bowl of Carrot Ginger Puree served in my grandmother's Lily of the Valley bowls with a sprig of fresh thyme.  I love root vegetable purees and mashes and this simple recipe with carrots was the start of it all.  The recipe has evolved through the years as my affinity for fresh ginger has grown and my taste for sweetness has diminished.  The original SimplyCooking® recipe used ground ginger and honey, both still valid if you would like to try it.  We do recommend using fresh orange juice and if you do not have an orange substitute vegetable broth rather than processed orange juice.  What is so nice about this recipe is the clean taste and the the balance of flavors; a little spice from the cayenne and ginger and sweetness from the orange.  The yogurt or sour cream will soften the dish overall and provide a creamy finish.  All this to say, it's delicious!

A final note about making this ahead, like for Easter Sunday:  Place the finished puree in individual ramekins or an ovenproof serving dish.  Let it cool and then cover and refrigerate until 20 minutes before serving time.  Rewarm by placing the ramekins or casserole, uncovered, in a cold oven.  Turn the oven on to 325° F.  Remove and serve after 20 minutes.

carrot ginger puree

2 lbs. carrots, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
1" fresh ginger root, peeled and cut in half
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 orange, juiced
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch cayenne pepper, or up to 1/8 tsp.
2 Tbsp. yogurt or sour cream

Placed peeled and cut carrots and the pieces of peeled ginger in a medium pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and cook until very tender, about 30 minutes.  Drain and transfer to the bowl of a food processor.  Add melted butter, orange juice, salt and pepper.  Puree until smooth.  Add the sour cream and process again.  The carrots should be perfectly smooth.  Serve immediately, or return to the pan and keep warm on the stove.