pumpkin carrots (and a recipe for tzimmes!)

My farmer pal Jessica grew these teeny little carrots, an heirloom variety called Thumbelina. They are a serious pain to  cook with, because you need to peel them to get all the dirt off (you could just scrub them, but I like to peel instead of scrub) and tiny round objects aren’t the easiest to peel, but look what happens when you cut them in half!


Technically you’re not supposed to eat the tops of carrots, but I couldn’t resist giving them to my clients like this. They were part of a tzimmes recipe, which is a Jewish New Year dish of sliced carrots cooked with something sweet. We’re a ways past Rosh Hashanah, but tzimmes is a nice dish anytime. My favorite recipe for it uses lemons sliced micro thin, which cuts the sweetness of the dish.  Give it a whirl:

Tzimmes with Lemon

6-8 servings

  • Gil Marks, in The World of Jewish Cooking, from which this recipe was adapted, says: “Since carrots grow even in poor soil, they became a staple of eastern Europe. Carrots are an important part of the Rosh Hashanah tradition:…the carrot’s sweetness fits in with the theme of the holiday [a sweet New Year], and when sliced they resemble gold coins.*”
  • Most tzimmes recipes use ginger, cinnamon, raisins, prunes, or dates, but I like these plain.

grape seed, coconut, or canola oil

2# carrots, peeled (unless very fresh) and sliced

1 c vegetable or mushroom stock or water (orange juice is nice but sometimes too desserty)

½ lemon, sliced as thinly as possible

½ c maple syrup or natural brown sugar

1 ts. sea salt

chopped fresh parsley for garnish

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the carrots (only as many as will fit in one layer) and sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the lemon, broth, sugar, and sea salt. Cook over medium-high heat until liquid is reduced to a glaze. When no more liquid is left in pan, stir constantly until carrots are deeply colored. Be careful to avoid burning.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Serve.


Adapted from The World of Jewish Cooking (a great book!) by Gil Marks


*Oh Jews, we’re so great at combating stereotypes about us…

4 Responses to “pumpkin carrots (and a recipe for tzimmes!)”

    • lagusta

      Yeah, I’m pretty much the only person I know who peels carrots, but I really really really like the flavor better, in truth, and that they look more elegant. And for my clients I want to make sure there are no dirt clods, so since these little dudes are so good at hiding dirt I just peel instead of scrubbing. And…um….I can peel them in front of my computer at my little workstation in my kitchen where I can also watch The Daily Show, whereas if I scrub them I have to be far away near the sink and feel like a scullery maid.

      Not that you needed to know any of that, but there it is!


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